Youth 4 Climate Change Strike: UK students took to the streets on March 15th to protest climate change.
Students from across the UK took a day off school this Friday to march in protest of climate change.
Following the action taken in February by 15,000 students from across the UK, the Youth Strike 4 Climate change aims to pressure government to take immediate action on climate change.
With a predicted 64 UK towns and cities having taken part, the influence of Greta Thunberg, a 16 year old climate activist in Sweden appears to be widespread, seeing to both school and university students getting involved.
Thunberg’s influence is not just confined to the UK with plans for further demonstrations worldwide to campaign for action against climate change.
In conversation with the Evening Standard, young activists have discussed the “alarming lack of leadership on climate change” by the government in previous years.
Succeeding the UN Report published in 2018 which claimed there were only 12 years left to prevent the disasters of climate change including severe flooding and heatwaves, students have released a steadfast letter stating: “We are going to change the fate of humanity, whether you like it or not.”
Noga Levy-Rapoport, a 17-year-old student from Hammersmith in speaking to Future London pointed to the need for solidarity and signalling urgency to government with regards to climate change. She stated “This is important in terms of a show of solidarity and sending a signal. We are here to make our voices heard and we are not going to stop until you listen to us”
Students are calling for the UK government to put in place a plan reflective of the Green New Deal as suggested by Ocasio-Cortez in the US as a means of combatting air pollution and global warming.
A student from Truro, Rosie Smart-Knight has highlighted further the sense of urgency among young people concerning climate change: “There were so many young children there (in February) who understood what was going on. It was quite heart breaking how many understood what was at stake” .
Many education leaders, including Education Secretary, Damian Hinds, have warned students they should not miss lessons to take part in the strikes. Those against the protest include Theresa May who claims “they [students] are wasting lesson time.”
Despite this, parents are strongly supporting this protest. Climate Change Minister, Claire Perry, said that she would have been tempted to join the strike if she was a school child.
The strike takes place less than a fortnight before Greater Manchester’s Mayor, Andy Burnham, holds a summit to mobilise the city region around a carbon neutrality target of 2038 – which some strikers feel is inadequate.