In March, more than 50,000 students went on strike across the UK to protest against the lack of government action to combat climate change. They are protesting again today, because they fear for their own future and that of the planet. Their plea is for Governments across the world to act now to halt the rise in world temperatures and address environmental destruction.
The school climate strikes are not about children playing truant. In my lifetime there’s been no other issue that dedicated and high performing students have missed school to protest about. Politicians should think long and hard about why this is the case.
- Stephanie Hilborne
Students are demanding that the climate emergency is acknowledged, and schools are given the time and resources to address the profoundly concerning reality of this issue that will shape their lives.
The Wildlife Trusts stand alongside young people who want to demonstrate their love for the planet. We actively and passionately support them in having their voices heard on the key changes they want to see for the environment and their future.
Nurturing the energy and determination of these passionate young people is essential if we are to achieve our vision of people close to nature, with land and seas rich in wildlife.
The Wildlife Trusts lead Our Bright Future, an innovative partnership involving more than 100 organisations from the youth and environment sectors across the UK. It is funded by National Lottery Community Fund and has young people at its core. Only last month, we organised a parliamentary reception in Westminster to give a platform to 54 young people from Our Bright Future projects across the UK to meet with their MPs and ask for change. The event was co-produced by those attending, reflecting the ethos of the programme to have young people leading positive change both at local and national level. MPs heard from some of the inspiring young people involved in the programme on the key changes they want to see for the environment and their lives. These include ensuring schools have at least one hour per day of lesson time outdoors. 19 MPs pledged their support.
“The school climate strikes are not about children playing truant. In my lifetime there’s been no other issue that dedicated and high performing students have missed school to protest about. Politicians should think long and hard about why this is the case.
All those who have dismissed environmentalism as hysterical and hyperbole in the past should take a deep look into their own souls and into the eyes of this generation and do all they can to act.” Stephanie Hilborne, The Wildlife Trusts CEO
It’s unacceptable that children and young people have to sacrifice their learning time in schools to demand Governments to take action. However, they know that there is no time left for inaction either, and an urgent response from Governments is needed to address the current climate crisis.