School children and students around North Devon are expected to go on strike tomorrow (Friday, February 15) to protest about the lack of Government action on climate change.
Young people are expected to gather on Bideford Quay tomorrow from 11am-2pm as part of the first ever Youth Strike 4 Climate event, with simultaneous protests happening around the country.
Thousands of students around the UK are expected to walk out of classrooms to join the protest, with actions scheduled for more than 50 towns and cities.
The Gazette has asked Bideford College if it wishes to comment. So far it is not known if more students from around North Devon will be holding their own events – if you are, get in touch with us by CLICKING HERE.
Inspired by similar actions in Sweden, Australia and Belgium - which have featured education strikes attracting tens of thousands of people - youth climate campaigners in the UK are organising for the first UK-wide Youth Strike 4 Climate.
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.
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.”
Even though some sections of the scientific community have labelled the IPCC’s report as conservative, it’s headline that humanity has just 12 years to avert catastrophic climate change has re-energised the environmental movement.
Since the first action in Sweden, a wave of school strikes have rippled across the globe, from Belgium to Australia.
Anna Taylor of UK Student Climate Network said: “We’ve seen the last few decades go by, characterised by missed opportunities, and a lack of leadership on climate action.
“We’re running out of time for meaningful change, and that’s why we’re seeing young people around the world rising up to hold their governments to account on their dismal climate records.
“Unless we take positive action, the future’s looking bleak for those of us that have grown up in an era defined by climate change. We’ve had enough and we’re making sure our voice is heard.
“We’re ready to let politicians know we won’t accept anything less than a commitment to protect the planet for the good of everyone. We have a clear message for Theresa May: do not let the big polluters steal our future.”
Jake Woodier, of the UK Youth Climate Coalition added: “Youth voices are too often left out of the discussion when it comes to climate change. Our current trajectory is completely incompatible with a clean, safe environment not only for ourselves but future generations as well.
“People around the world are already suffering the consequences of climate inaction, with communities, particularly in the global south, bearing the worst effects, with yet worse to come.
“Climate change is no longer a problem to be dealt with in the future. The reality is, we’re living through a crisis of humankind’s own doing, and it’s only going to get increasingly worse unless we take radical, rapid action to transition to a low or zero-carbon economy in the immediate future.”
Those taking part in the action are demanding that the government declares a state of climate emergency and communicates the severity of the ecological crisis to the general public.
And campaigners want the curriculum reformed to address climate change as an educational priority, alongside a request to include youth voices into policy making and lowering the voting age to 16.
****** Are your children taking part in the strike tomorrow, or are you a student taking part yourself? Send us details of your event and the reasons why you are participating to firstname.lastname@example.org .