Thousands of school pupils and students in Scotland are uniting with young people across the globe in skipping lessons to protest the lack of action taken to address the climate emergency. This Friday will see over 700 protests occur worldwide, at least seven of which will take place in Scotland. These strikes mark the first global youth climate strike since the COP26 climate summit held in Glasgow last year.
Throughout the country, strikes are being organized in cities such as Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling, Inverness, Dumfries, Falkirk, and Ullapool. These demonstrations are led by the movement Fridays For Future, originally started by teenager Greta Thunberg. She began boycotting school every week to sit outside the Swedish parliament and bring attention to politicians’ inadequate response to the environmental crisis.
During the recent COP26 conference in Glasgow, Thunberg, joined by over 35,000 young activists, marched through the city to demand climate justice. In a speech given at the mass rally, she declared the conference a “failure.” Now, Scottish members of Fridays For Future are participating in the global climate strike as another means to pressure politicians into taking real action instead of just making empty promises.
The group stresses the importance of putting people before profit and ending the use of fossil fuels, the primary source of greenhouse gas emissions. They highlight the fact that as the planet continues to burn, wealth and power become increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few. Decision-makers have failed to protect both the people and the planet, thereby exacerbating the climate crisis. The young protestors worldwide are united in standing against this abandonment of duty.
One of the key demands made by the activists is to invest in renewable energy and phase out fossil fuels promptly. It is clear that the urgency of the situation cannot be ignored, as the recent IPCC report declared it a code red situation. There has already been irreparable damage as a result of the climate crisis, and decisive action is needed. The young people are taking to the streets once again because they realize we cannot afford any further delays.
The youth also emphasize that action does not need to wait until the next COP. Rather, governments should be actively investing in renewable energy sources, improving public transportation, and making buildings less reliant on fossil fuels, among other measures. This global movement shows the commitment and determination of young people to combat the climate crisis and secure a sustainable future for all.