Students ‘sick, tired and scared’ of climate inaction excuses from leaders

Published by Kayle Crosson on

November 29th, 2019

Students came out in numbers today in the capital to demand once more that the government take greater action on addressing the climate crisis. 

The lunchtime protest was set to be held before the gates of the Dail, but due to crowd size and road safety, Gardai directed the demonstration down towards Kildare Place.

School strikers spoke before the crowd, demanding that the Government take both holistic and specific action. They repeatedly called on it to halt all plans to support liquefied natural gas terminals in both Shannon and Cork. 

Brooke Dwyer, who participated in the RTE Climate Youth Assembly earlier this month, said that she refused to let the broadcasted event “be used solely for PR, put in a false light, and used as an excuse by the Government”. 

“I’m sick and tired and scared of the excuses and blatant dismissiveness, lack of education, ignorance and passiveness towards the crisis in climate crisis,” she added. 

She then went on to read the ten recommendations the Assembly put forward to the Minister for Climate Action Richard Bruton, which included banning imported fracked gas and the redirecting of all energy investing into solar power. 

School strike Dublin November 2019 Photo: Kayle Crosson

The strike was led by the Fridays for Future movement and coincided with a global climate strike just a week before the annual UN Climate Conference is set to take place in Madrid.

Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg is currently crossing the Atlantic by carbon-neutral boat in order to attend the conference. 

Today’s strike is the fourth of its kind this year, with similar global mobilizations happening in March, May and September. Protests also took place across the country, including in Cork, Ennis, Limerick and Letterkenny. 

Ireland remains well-off track in meeting its 2020 and 2030 targets according to EPA data and the 2019 Climate Change Performance Index released this time last year. 

Most recently, Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe stressed that Ireland must do more on climate action within the next month. 

The report from the European climate body found that Ireland was performing poorly in a number of areas, including renewable energy, energy efficiency and climate ambition. 

School strike Dublin November 2019 Photo: Kayle Crosson
School strike Dublin November 2019 Photo: Kayle Crosson

School Striker Demands 

The movement is asking the Government to communicate the severity of the climate crisis to the public and to build school curriculums that convey it adequately to students of all ages. 

The transition to carbon-neutrality must be fair, and stronger corporate regulation on those directly responsible for the climate crisis must be implemented, they say.

Students are also asking the government to deeply reduce emissions from the state’s largest emitting sector, agriculture, and all fossil fuel supplies be left in the ground. 

By 2030, school strikers want a 100 per cent renewable electricity supply, which supersedes the government’s current 2030 target of 70 per cent.

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Kayle Crosson

Kayle is a multimedia journalist focused on climate and environmental issues and contributes to The Irish Times and The Green News.