Youth climate change protests across Britain – live
The youth strikers across the world have won the backing of tens of thousands of scientists. In a letter published on Thursday in the prestigious journal Science, leading climate researchers wrote:
We declare: Their concerns are justified and supported by the best available science. The current measures for protecting the climate and biosphere are deeply inadequate.
The letter has been endorsed by more than 4,500 other scientists and follows a similar letter from 26,500 German, Austrian and Swiss scientists. Both letters state:
We approve and support [the strikers’] demand for rapid and forceful action. Only if humanity acts quickly and resolutely can we limit global warming, halt the ongoing mass extinction of animal and plant species, and preserve the natural basis for the food supply and well-being of present and future generations. This is what the young people want to achieve. They deserve our respect and full support.
The letter in Science continues:
The enormous grassroots mobilization of the youth climate movement shows that young people understand the situation.
It is critical to immediately begin a rapid reduction in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions. The degree of climate crisis that humanity will experience in the future will be determined by our cumulative emissions; rapid reduction now will limit the damage.
Many social, technological, and nature-based solutions already exist. The young protesters rightfully demand that these solutions be used to achieve a sustainable society. Without bold and focused action, their future is in critical danger. There is no time to wait until they are in power.”
The letter also calls for more scientists to back the strikers:
We call for our colleagues across all disciplines and from the entire world to support these young climate protesters.
In March, a letter from 224 UK academics in The Guardian said the young strikers “have every right to be angry about the future that we shall bequeath to them, if proportionate and urgent action is not taken”.
One of the UK’s most prominent school strikers, 13-year-old Holly Gillibrand, has been at her regular post outside her school in Fort William, in the Scottish Highlands, since just after 9am this morning.
Gillibrand is striking for the 14th week running, holding her hand-made ‘school strikes for the climate’ sign – there are 10 other strikers with her currently but she’s hoping for more as the morning progresses.
Holly is not actually missing school today – most of Scotland’s school pupils are now in their second week of the Easter holiday break.
She says: “I think it’s important to strike during the holidays because people were saying that we were on strike because we got to miss school, so this shows we are dedicated and willing to give up our free time for this crisis. Climate change doesn’t stop and neither do we.”
Gillibrand met Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon recently along with other school climate activists to press their case. “It’s really good that politicians like Nicola Sturgeon are listening to us but it’s whether she takes the next step”.
Gilibrand wants to see Scotland reach net zero emissions by 2030 “because we’re a rich, developed country so we need to be reducing our emissions more quickly”, and wants to Scottish government to take nature and environmental protection more seriously.