Youth climate strikers demand more from world leaders

24 April 2021

School strikers took to zoom the day after Earth day, with 150 attendees mobilising with guest speakers and activists from around the world.

Saoi O’Connor from Fridays for Future Ireland helped organise the event yesterday and they want “to make sure that we remind people to keep that pressure that the climate crisis may not be happening here, but it is happening now. It’s only going to get worse unless we act yesterday.” 

Organisers expressed disappointment with Minister for Climate Action Eamon Ryan, saying that he appeared to not “understand the gravity of the climate crisis.”

“There just seems to be lack of a sense of urgency and a lack of willingness to look at this crisis in any way other than what is the most convenient for us” says Jessica Dunne, organiser with Fridays for Future Dublin.

“We need to stand here together to show that we find it urgent.”

Response to Leaders’ Summit on Climate

The strike follows an International summit where US President Joe Biden called together 40 global leaders to discuss the climate crisis. Strikers see their actions as ‘unacceptable’, ‘empty promises’ as they are also dominated by countries that have ‘emitted more than their fair share.’ 

“It was really positive to see the summit yesterday. It was really positive to see attention on the climate crisis from leaders. But we need more,” O’Connor said.

The strikers stress that it isn’t their responsibility to determine the solutions. They refer to experts and scientists to determine the targets.

“I think what we really want is world leaders to do is listen to the best available science. At the end of the day, we’re activists, but we’re youth activists” says Sarah, one of the youth organisers.

The aim for their efforts is to reach emissions targets and achieve climate justice. To achieve this, the organisers see the current targets in 2050 as too late, and that there needs to be more action from leaders.

“We’re just as, if not more powerful as a movement than we were before this started, and this isn’t the end. We’re going to keep going. We’re going to still be here and still be annoying and have as many different strikes in as many different formats as it takes for them to wake up,” O’Connor said.

by Sam Starkey