Kids around the world plan to skip school this Friday to demand action on climate change

Students in Brussels strike from school to protest a lack of climate awareness on January 31, 2019. (Eric Lalmand/AFP/Getty Images)

(CNN)Young people around the world are not interested in excuses when it comes to dealing with climate change.

Every year of their lives has been one of the warmest recorded. Extreme weather events, including floods, wildfires and heat waves, are becoming the new norm. Many believe that, if nothing is done to stop global warming, their generation will be left to deal with catastrophic consequences.
That's why, on March 15, tens of thousands of students worldwide will be cutting class and taking to the streets to demand that elected officials act.
    Here's what you need to know about their movement.

    How we got here

    The global climate strike on March 15 is an offshoot of the #FridaysForFuture movement, which has been active around the world for months.
    It began with Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old environmental activist, who in August 2018 started skipping school on Fridays to protest outside Sweden's parliament.
    You might remember how she roasted the global elite at the World Economic Forum by telling them they were to blame for the climate crisis. Before that, she delivered a damning speech at the United Nations' climate conference COP24, telling climate negotiators they weren't "mature enough to tell it like it is."
    Thunberg has said she won't stop her sit-ins until Sweden is in line with the Paris Agreement, an accord that aims to limit a global temperature rise this century to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
    Her protests have inspired thousands of young people around the world. Students in countries including Australia, Thailand, Uganda and the United Kingdom have already skipped school to demand that their governments act against climate change.
    Students in more than 90 countries and more than 1,200 cities around the world plan to join the strike in what could be one of the largest environmental protests in history.

    Why they're striking

    The question many student protesters have for officials who might scold them for cutting class is: What's the point in going to school if climate change might destroy all hope of a future?
    Right now, they say, they've got bigger things to worry about.
    That's because world leaders only have 11 more years to avoid disastrous levels of global warming, according to a 2018 report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
    If human-generated greenhouse gas emissions continue at the current rate, the planet will reach 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels as soon as 2030. That threshold is critical.
    Global warming at that