Striking for their future: school pupils walk out to save the planet

Crop uist climate strike

No planet B: Méabh and her pals get set for the #ClimateStrike.

Actions will take place in more than 100 countries

Graham Martin's photo

14th March 2019 by Graham Martin 0 Comments

School pupils in Scotland will join tens of thousands throughout the globe in a strike against environmental destruction on Friday (15 March).

They are walking out today and holding protests outside school gates, demanding world leaders take action on climate change.

Actions are expected across Scotland as part of global movement called Schools 4 Climate Action, inspired by 16-year-old Swede Greta Thunberg.

A school strike a month ago saw tens of thousands take part – and this month’s protests will take place in 100 countries.

In 12 years we can’t turn anything back and we and our planet will face the horrors of climate change

Pupils in Glasgow and Edinburgh will not be punished for taking part – if they have parental consent.

Among those protesting will be 11-year-old Méabh Mackenzie of Daliburgh School on the island of South Uist.

Méabh has mobilised a group of school friends to join the strike.

She said: “I am doing this because I feel that governments are ignoring what will happen to our planet if we don’t slow down global warming. South Uist where I live is very low lying and it wouldn’t take much for it to disappear under the waves. 

“I love this island and I will do anything at all so my children, my grandchildren and maybe even my great grandchildren see how lovely this place actually is! We, the future generation, are now going to tidy up the mess and we will not stop till it’s done. 

“Rising sea levels will have a catastrophic affect where I live in the Western Isles and other island communities all across the world. In 12 years we can’t turn anything back and we and our planet will face the horrors of climate change. 

“We need governments and lawmakers to act now while we still have time and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that will help slow down rising sea levels. We need our government to monitor coastal erosions and for these Islands especially to build better flood defences.”

The school pupils have been backed by Scotland’s civil society.

 Naomi McAuliffe, Amnesty International’s Scotland programme director, said: “It is truly inspiring to see young people organising and taking part in school strikes for climate change.

“Peaceful mobilisation of thousands of pupils to address the failure of governments to meaningfully address climate change is a powerful and important moment. We should all support and celebrate the efforts of Méabh and her fellow pupils, as well as the young people across Scotland standing up to climate change – one of the most urgent and pervasive threats to our rights.”