UC San Diego students rally for climate action

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SAN DIEGO -- Students at UC San Diego gathered on campus Friday morning to participate in the Global Climate Strike.

The Global Climate Strike began on September 20 as students across San Diego and around the globe left their classrooms to rally in support of climate action. Friday marked the final day of the week-long worldwide rally.

"It's important," UC San Diego student Taylor McKie said. "It should be important everyone. People say that it's for the next generations to come, but it's really for the generations now."

Students with the UCSD Climate Action March said approximately 500 students and staff were expected to walk out of their classrooms with three specific goals in mind: to teach students about current climate concerns, to identify and meet climate neutral goals by 2025 and to implement a climate action plan that students said would become the "Green New Deal" of the UC system.

"They've made this commitment but now they actually have to get there and they only have five years. So we want to put pressure on them to actually identify real goals each year that they're going to accomplish," UC San Diego staff member Kina Thackray told FOX 5.

In response to the gathering, UC San Diego released a statement that said the university was in the process of establishing a climate action plan in coordination with other UC schools.

"UC President Janet Napolitano and all 10 UC chancellors have signed a climate emergency declaration letter that recognizes 'the need for a drastic societal shift to combat the growing threat of climate change,'" the statement said, adding that the emergency declaration included "increasing action-oriented climate research; expanding education and outreach on environmental and sustainability issues; and achieving climate neutrality."

According to the UCSD Climate Action March, Friday's event would be the first of many rallies to come, with subsequent marches scheduled for the first Friday of every month.

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