As school pupils across the UK go on strike on Friday at the lack of progress to tackle climate change, Christian Aid has called on leaders to heed their call for urgent action to cut emissions and ensure a safe and prosperous planet for today’s children.
Thousands of students around the world have followed in the footsteps of Swedish 16-year-old, Greta Thunberg, who has gone on strike from school every Friday and spent the day outside the Swedish Parliament in protest at the lack of action to prevent the climate crisis.
Christian Aid’s Youth and Campaigns Manager, Richard Baker, said: “It’s understandable that children are angry about the state of the climate their forebears are leaving them. It’s a bitter inheritance. The fact so many of them feel the need to take this drastic action is a damning indictment of our political leaders. While the nature of the action may divide opinion, the most important thing is that we all listen and respond to what they are saying.
“As Jesus said, ‘Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?’ Sadly today’s children have been given a hostile climate by their parents’ generation.”
He added: “This school strike is a sign of growing anger at the lack of action on climate change, following last year’s warning from the UN’s expert science panel that on our current path we will trigger dangerous climate change in just 12 years. Climate breakdown is an issue of injustice, both generational and geographic. The world’s poor – and young – have done little to cause it but will face the most severe consequences.
“One of the many constructive ways in which schools can channel pupils’ energy and commitment to this burning issue is to enable them to have their voices heard at a mass lobby of Parliament on June 26. It will be organised by The Climate Coalition, an umbrella organisation of more than 100 diverse groups including the Women’s Institute, the National Union of Students and Christian Aid. This will be an opportunity for people of all ages to engage their MP on the matter of climate change.
Christian Aid works with a number of schools around the country to help nurture an active concern for people and planet through teaching resources and the Global Neighbours
school accreditation scheme.