Students list demands for urgent climate action

Published by Niall Sargent on

March 8th, 2019

Students have outlined their demands for urgent climate action as they say that Government inaction to date is killing the planet.

On Wednesday, a group of 40 students from around Ireland met in Dublin to discuss what climate actions they want politicians to make.

The students later presented six key demands to TDs and senators at Daíl Eireann based on their discussion and a survey sent to students across the country.

The students said that they want the Government to ensure that all fossil fuels are left in the ground and called for a ban on new fossil fuel infrastructure.

They also want a climate emergency to be declared and for the State to communicate the “severity of the ecological crisis to the general public”, including a reform of the education systems to “address the need for ecological literacy”.

The rapid implementation of the entire Citizens’ Assembly suite of recommendations on climate change is also demanded by the students, as well the policy changes to ensure a reduction in emissions from agriculture.

“The urgency of this situation necessitates direct and immediate action,” said Cian Parry, a 5th year student from Newpark Comprehensive School stated.

“On Friday the 15th you have the opportunity to take part in history when schools all over the world will be brought to a standstill by students walking out and joining protests against their respective governments,” he added.

Maisy Morgan-Sutton (14), a 2nd year student from Cork Educate Together Secondary School, said that the earth isn’t dying but is “being killed” by Government inaction.

“The government is doing nothing and then blaming us for our personal choices. Sustainability isn’t a luxury – if we fail now there is no undo button. If you truly cared for your kids you’d fight for their future,” she added.

Irish students are set join schools across Ireland for the global Schools Strike for Climate Action next Friday 15th March.

As well as marches in Dublin and Cork there will be strike events outside local authority offices in counties from Kerry to Donegal, Meath to Galway, and locally at school gates across the country.

This global strike was called by the 16 year-old schoolgirl Greta Thunberg who began striking outside the Swedish Parliament last August.

The rising wave of students striking on March 15th follows on from many smaller strikes that have been taking place over the past three months in Ireland, organised by grassroots groups that are emerging organically and coordinating as best they can.

These include two autonomous groups – Fridays for Future and School Strikes 4 Climate – as well as the Schools’ Climate Action Network, a student-driven network of young people in Ireland whose schools support their decision to strike.

Earlier this week, the Taoiseach welcomed the involvement of Irish students in next week’s global school climate strike as it is “their future that is in jeopardy”.

Speaking during leaders’ questions in the Dail yesterday, Leo Varadkar said it is positive that young people are going to protest as part of the strike next Friday.

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Niall Sargent

Niall is the Editor of The Green News. He is a multimedia journalist, with an MA in Investigative Journalism from City University, London