This speech was planned to be read during the Youth Strike 4 Climate, in Exeter on February 15th. Youth Strike for Climate is an international movement that is gaining traction and support all the time. February 15th was the first mass countrywide UK action. Exeter was one of the biggest events. XR unequivocally supports Youth Strikes. Some Youth Strike members are also XR Youth members, including in Exeter. Thanks to ‘Jack’ for the YouTube video above. Jack, please get in touch -one of our editors would like to create some content with you!
by Molly Bovet, 17 years old
To those with the greatest power, from those who must break the system to claim it:
There never should have been a ‘time for waiting’, and now even those stolen years have run out.
Your generation has failed to keep us safe in this time, and now we, your children, are left to pick up the pieces and provoke you into action. The promises that have been made and the plans that have been discussed so far are too vague and too idle.
We have, at best, twelve years left before the state of our planet becomes catastrophic and we run out of time for action; that is not time that can be wasted like the politicians and major companies of the world have wasted the years leading up to this.
You are the ones who have created this mess and now we are here to force you into action. You are the ones with the power to help us.
Children are raised to be quiet when they’re angry and to do as they’re told, but this is one issue that we cannot be silenced on.
In just the past twenty five years, you have emitted more CO2 than the entirety of the human race before you. The climate we have been born and raised in, the climate that you have created, is born of obliteration.
We may even see climate collapse as soon as within the next five years, and if we don’t amend that, cultural collapse will inevitably follow within our lifetimes.
Even these horrific facts are things that we have had to seek out ourselves; our schools do not equip us with the knowledge and ability to mitigate the worst-case scenarios. Nor do they teach us about the direness of our climate situation or how we can live low carbon lifestyles.
We do not want to live in fear but you give us no choice. We trusted you, the adults, to keep us safe but you have failed to secure our future.
You want to raise good kids, people who will be kind to one another and the world around them, work passionately and take their educations seriously. These kids are here, begging at your feet to spare us a future in flames. We will care for this earth and its creatures. We will love every precious second that we are here; just as long as you do the same.
This is my only planet
by Holly Errington
This is my only planet
I must defend it
This is your beautiful planet
You must help us
Tired of endless excuses
Governments saying “We’ll fix it later”
And walking away with a smirk
Their pockets full and our planet empty
We will not settle for later
We don’t care if you think we’re crazy
We can band together
are happening now
Do not let others pollute your vision
Be a protector of precious life
Let us hold hope by the hand
Pray that we will be sitting amongst wildlife
In years to come
Talking about our defiance
Against this ecological destruction
We Have the Facts, We Will Have Climate Justice
by Lauren Fenton, 18 years old
In a world where governments care more about money than the environment, it has been left to the people to decide which shade of green we want for our planet.
With an estimated 18 billion pounds of plastic waste entering the world oceans from coastal regions annually and Donald Trump looking to re-open coal mines in the USA, it is now down to the people to make the change.
But we need the support of the government, we need them to wake up and take responsibility and write legally binding agreements to cap the global temperature rise by less than the tipping point.
Limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius is not good enough. A two-degree increase in the average global temperature means that mountain glaciers and rivers will start to disappear, 10% of the world’s population will be displaced due to sea level rise and A THIRD OF ALL LIFE ON EARTH WILL FACE EXTINCTION!
As a population we need to band together to pressure the officials to enforce a mandatory cap in temperature rise at 1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial levels and become carbon neutral by 2030. By the time we reach 2050 It will be too late.
In 2014, only 5 countries accounted for 70% of global CO2 emissions: China, the United States, the European Union, the Russian Federation and Japan. This sparked the launch of the “land mark agreement” to combat climate change in 2015 – COP 21, The Paris agreement, Which THE USA HAS NOW PULLED OUT OF.
China is so far the only country to make a major difference, announcing plans to invest over $USD 3 Billion in renewable energy. Whist the EU’s aim is become carbon neutral by 2050 and cut energy use by 20% below business-as-usual projections by 2020. This is NOT good enough! We are the 3rd largest contributor to CO2 emissions globally and our member states are among the wealthiest countries in the world. With these stats there is NO EXCUSE for not making more of an effort to become carbon neutral! Because of our governments idleness we are now on track for a global temperature rise of 2.7 degrees C, 0.7 above the tipping point.
Despite all these statistics, there has still been no legally binding agreement to combat climate change since 2009. And there are still countries refusing the latest agreement (Katowice 2018), including the USA, Russia and Saudi Arabia. Knowing this, how can we rely on governments who are not willing to make a sacrifice to save the planet? If the temperature continues to rise there will be no trade, there will be displacement of people and there will be extinction!
We have the facts. We have the power. We will have Climate Justice.
- By Lauren Fenton