Supporting Young People’s Voice: School Strikes for Climate Action

Sofia Keogh, a TY student in Sion Hill Dominican College, Blackrock, tells us why she is participating in today’s school strike.

Greta Thunberg began striking outside the Swedish parliament in August 2018, knowing immediate action was necessary to combat climate change. Since then, thousands of strikes have been organised and more than one million young people from around the world have participated in Fridays for Future events, including more than 15,000 from Ireland.

Today, 20th of September 2019, Fridays for Future will host its biggest protest yet with 2,500 events scheduled across 150 countries. In Dublin, thousands of people, young and old, will be meeting at Custom House Quay at 12pm to strike for climate and to force the Irish government into taking action on climate change. There are also strikes in several other cities around Ireland.

The Irish government has put a plan in place so Ireland can reduce our carbon emissions and achieve climate targets. This plan contains more than 200 actions including regulations that ban non-recyclable plastic and that 70 per cent of all electricity will come from renewable sources by 2030.

The aims of the strikes in Ireland are to gain the governments attention and to compel the Irish government to recognise the importance of our climate situation. The Fridays for Future coordinators also want the Irish government to “align itself with its commitments to the Paris agreement and to do their part in lowering its emissions”.

Aidlink works with communities directly impacted by climate change. In Turkana, northern Kenya, communities who once reliably predicted the rainy season are no longer able to do so. Pastoralists describe a time, not that long ago, when a prolonged dry spell or drought occurred every 5-10 years. Now droughts are more regular and occurring every 2-3 years leaving families and communities unable to recover fully from one drought to the next. After poor long rains in the spring of 2019, the people of Turkana are again vulnerable with growing concern for the so called short rains due next month. If the October rains fail over half a million people are in danger of acute hunger.

 

 

Photos taken in Turkana, Kenya, February 2019

 

Aidlink understands that people in developing countries who are doing the least to cause climate change are suffering the effects the most. Climate change is a barrier to poverty reduction, and it is women and children who experience the disadvantages the most. For the communities with whom we work, the nomadic pastoralist of Turkana, Kajiado and Karamojo, the impact of climate change is a matter of urgency.

 

Aidlink supports students, teachers and all citizens, old and young, in their call to take action on Climate issues.

 

Sofia is volunteering with Aidlink as part of her TY Work Experience.

 

Sources:

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2019/09/greta-thunberg-and-fridays-for-future-receive-amnesty-internationals-top-honour/

https://www.foe.ie/blog/2019/09/11/support-the-climate-strike-movement/

https://www.vox.com/2019/9/17/20864740/greta-thunberg-youth-climate-strike-fridays-future

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/environment/climate-action-what-are-the-new-government-measures-1.3928072

https://www.dccae.gov.ie/en-ie/climate-action/Pages/default.aspx

https://www.fridaysforfuture.ie/september-20th

https://www.fridaysforfuture.ie/about

 

Cover Photo: Taken by Aidlink in Turkana, Kenya, 2017.

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