Tens of thousands of students demonstrate for climate measures

Students join the Youth Strike 4 Climate movement during a climate change protest near Parliament in London, Friday Feb. 15, 2019. The demonstration is one many nationwide to demand action against climate change. (Nick Ansell/PA via AP)

Tens of thousands of young school students across Europe dropped lessons on Friday to participate in the worldwide climate demonstration, ‘Youth Strike 4 Climate’.

‘’I think enough people have understood how absurd the situation is.

We face the greatest crisis in human history and in practice nothing is being done to prevent it. I believe what we see is a good start to positive change and is hopeful” said 16 year-old Swedish climate activist, Greta Thunberg.

Since last year, she has skipped school classes every Friday in protest against lack of measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Her involvement has attracted international attention and inspired the climate protest, Youth Strike 4 Climate, which has spread to much of the world.

On Friday, nearly 70,000 young schoolchildren from all over Europe dropped lessons to participate in the “school strike for the climate”in protest against the international leaders’ absence in the climate debate.

Required change

In Britain, students demanded, among other things, that the government declare a climate crisis, highlight the issue as an educational priority, and lower the voting age limit to 16 year olds in elections to include youth in political decisions about their future.

‘’We demonstrate against the government’s lack of action in the face of the climate crisis. This is our last chance to fight for our future’’ the UK Student Climate Network (UKSCN) said in a statement.

UK Minister of Education, Damian Hinds, said he is happy that young people are engaging in important societal issues, but believes it is unfortunate that students miss their education for the strikes.

‘’Missing school hours will not solve the climate problem. It only creates extra work for the teachers’’ he said.

Supports schoolchildren

France’s Environment Minister, François de Rugy, however, was far more positive and supported the big demonstration.

In France, school students participated in over 40 French cities.

“I’d rather have protesters outside the ministry, saying that we’re not doing enough for the environment, and that we need to react faster and to a greater extent than having people on the outside saying “stop, stop, this goes too fast and too long”he said.

‘’No one wants to study or work for a future that does not exist.

Anyone can do a little, but if our future is destroyed by inaction, our efforts will be unsuccessful’’ Youth for Climate France said.

Norway hangs on

On Friday, March 22, there will also be a “school outing for climate” in Norway, organised by the environmental organization, Natur og ungdom (Nature and Youth). In the event description on Facebook, the organization encouraged students to stand up in front of town halls across the country
and demonstrate against the politicians’ lack of action in climate policy.

‘’We have 11 years to cut emissions, but the government is distributing new oil fields, building new airports, and bragging about tiny measures. The adults are destroying our future, now is the time for protest!’’ it says in the event review.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today