Tired of being let down by those in power, young people are taking to the streets to voice their climate concerns. Hate spoke to 15 year old Scarlet Possnett from the UK Student Climate Network about why students are striking. If you want to get involved join one of many #YouthStrike4Climate actions taking place around the UK on Friday 15th February, or start your own!
What are the aims of the #YouthStrike4Climate?
#YouthStrike4Climate is about young people empowering ourselves to push for action. We've been endlessly ignored by those in power but we're the ones who are going to be most affected by climate chaos.
Why should young people get involved?
Young people should get involved because we have the greatest stake - we have to face the consequences for the actions of those before us. We're rapidly approaching a point of climate chaos from which we won't be able to turn back. It's down to us to use whatever voice we have to fight against this. The best way to get involved is to strike on 15 February. Our website, www.ukscn.org/ys4c details how you can strike. There’s also loads of information on our social media, @UKSCN on Instagram, or @StrikeForYouth on twitter.
What steps can young people take to start their own strike?
Our website has a detailed list of where all the 15 February strikes will be. If there isn't a strike near you, the best way to set one up is to contact us via our website.
Recently, the environmental movement has been invigorated by young activists such as Greta Thunberg and movements like YS4C. Why do you think young people are suddenly taking matters into their own hands?
We set up UKSCN because we have been forced to fight for our own futures where previous generations have failed, and our first event is YS4C. The reason there has been such a sudden uprising of young people protesting lack of government action is because governments have committed to protecting our futures before - but failed us time and time again - so we've been left with no choice but to take matters into our own hands.
How can older people support/encourage young people to take action?
Take us seriously and don't stress about us taking some time off school - the future of our planet is way more important than losing a few hours of school. And don't take for granted the power that you have in your voting rights. Vote for parties and policies which take climate change seriously.
What do you want to see change in the world?
We are fed up with people thinking that small changes in behaviour will solve the problem. We need radical system change. Carpooling and turning off lights has no weighting when considering that just 100 companies have accounted for more than 70% of greenhouse gas emissions since 1988. It’s the eleventh hour, and our government must take action.
We, the students, demand that 1. The Government declare a climate emergency and prioritise the protection of life on Earth, taking active steps to achieve climate justice. 2. The national curriculum is reformed to address the ecological crisis as an educational priority. 3. The Government communicate the severity of the ecological crisis and the necessity to act now to the general public. 4. The Government recognise that young people have the biggest stake in our future, by incorporating youth views into policy making and bringing the voting age down to 16.