Youngsters gather in Bideford for Youth Strike 4 Climate
- Credit: Matt Smart
Groups of youngsters gathered in Bideford on Friday to protest a lack of Government action on climate change.
The Youth Strike 4 Climate protest on the Quay was one of around 60 three-hour demonstrations taking place simultaneously in towns and cities around the UK.
The event was inspired by similar actions in Sweden, Australia and Belgium, which have featured education strikes attracting tens of thousands of people.
It follows in the wake of the October 2018 IPCC 1.5°C report, which warns global warming is likely to reach 1.5 degrees by 2030-52 if it continues to increase at the current rate.
It also came a day after North Devon had the hottest Valentine’s Day in 21 years.
The movement was started by Greta Thunberg, then 15, who skipped school to demonstrate outside the Swedish Parliament. She said her actions were a bid to get politicians to “...prioritise the climate question, focus on the climate and treat it like a crisis.”
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Bideford College pupil Kate, 13, organised the event in North Devon, and said: “I’m striking because of the environmental crisis we are facing due to carbon emissions made by cars and other transport.”
Ambika and Sonny Parkin from Brighton joined the protest in Bideford whilst on a family holiday in North Devon.
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Ambika said: “The Government isn’t treating it as the crisis it really is and they don’t understand they will be gone when all of this takes its toll. We will have to be dealing with the situation.
“They need to be taking immediate action – it’s a crisis and I think it should be treated as such.”
The youngsters also received support from local councillors, who joined them over the course of the three-hour event.
Devon County Council said it fully supported the aims of the young people across the UK protesting about climate change.
Councillor Roger Croad, the council’s cabinet member for the environment said: “There is no doubt there is a climate emergency and unless something is done, climate change will affect people, the environment, business and our prosperity.
“We fully support the objectives of young people to reduce carbon emissions and DCC has been working hard for many years to ensure that we are on course to meet the IPCC’s carbon reduction recommendations.”