Over 15,000 UK students protest inaction against climate change

Thousands of students in the UK missed classes on Friday, February 15, to “strike” against the government’s lack of action on combating climate change. 

Victoria Wystepek
Victoria Wystepek NewsMavens, Europe
Over 15,000 UK students protest inaction against climate change - NewsMavens
Student Climate Strike in London, YouTube

Why this story matters:

Youth Strike 4 Climate organized the protests which took place in more than 50 towns in the UK.  Many carried homemade signs, with phrases such as, “The climate is changing! Why aren’t we?” and, “Can’t go to school if it’s under water.” 

The protests were inspired by 16 year-old Swedish climate activist, Greta Thunberg. Every Friday she sits outside the Swedish Parliament with her “school strike for climate” sign. Late last year she criticized delegates at the COP24 summit in Poland.

“You are not mature enough to tell it like is,” she said. “Until you start focusing on what needs to be done rather than what is politically possible, there is no hope. We cannot solve a crisis without treating it as a crisis.” 

The UN reports that the world will need to take unprecedented global action to meet the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. So far, the  global temperature has already risen 1 degree Celsius. 

Until further action is taken by the government, another protest is planned for March 15.

Details from the story:

  • The UK Student Climate Network reported that the largest protests took place in London, Brighton, Oxford, and Exeter.
  • The National Association of Head Teachers do not support students missing school to participate in the protests
  • Some UK government officials, such as Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and energy minister Claire Perry, have voiced support for the students’ activism.

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