Students Demand Immediate Action on Climate Change
Irish schools and students preparing for the global #SchoolStrike4Climate next week
March 8 2019, 10:49pm
Schools’ Climate Action Network
8th March 2019
Students from schools across Ireland are joining the global School 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 Tralee 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 (1) and School Strikes 4 Climate (2) as well as the Schools’ Climate Action Network (3), which is a student-driven network of young people in Ireland, whose schools support them in their decision to strike for climate.
Molly Mercier-Redmond, a 2nd year student from North Wicklow Educate Together said:
'If the leaders of our country are not willing to act, then we have no choice but to step up to the plate and demand action. We have always been taught that adults know best, but the truth is, they are the ones ignoring climate scientists and destroying our future! Please join us and see what a difference we can make!’
On Wednesday March 6th a group of 40 students from around Ireland met in Dublin to discuss their demands and later presented six key demands to TDs and senators at Dáil Eireann in advance of the strike. Their discussion were based on the results of a survey (4) which was sent to students across the country.
The student demands are:
The Government ensures all fossil fuels are left in the ground and should not allow any new fossil fuel infrastructure to be built and that Ireland uses 100% renewable electricity by 2030.
The Government declares a climate emergency, communicates the severity of the ecological crisis to the general public and reforms the primary and post-primary educations systems to address the need for ecological literacy. The government must prioritise the protection of life on Earth, taking active steps to achieve climate justice.
The Government makes transitioning to a CO2-neutral Ireland socially fair. We demand of the government that it takes its responsibility seriously and avoids having regular citizens carry all the burden towards transitioning to a sustainable society.
The Government implements all the recommendations of the Citizens’ Assembly on Climate Change. As this is a climate emergency, we demand that the recommendations be implemented immediately.
The Government creates and enforces stronger regulations on corporations that are causing the climate crisis and ensure a transformation to reduce emissions from agriculture in Ireland.
The Government implements a Green New Deal and ensures that after leaving school, all young people in Ireland can have livelihoods that don't damage the Earth.
These demands will continue to evolve as the network grows and more students get involved in deciding which demands to prioritise.
Cian Parry, a 5th year student from Newpark Comprehensive School stated,
'The urgency of this situation necessitates direct and immediate action. 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.'
Maisy Morgan-Sutton (14), a 2nd year student from Cork Educate Together Secondary School said,
‘The Earth isn’t dying, it’s being killed. 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.’
A map of events around the country has been created. This facility allows for decentralised student-led events to be mapped nationally: https://www.actionnetwork.org/event_campaigns/climate-strike-map
The march on the 15th is a Global event, called by Fridays for Future and, as such, is public in nature. Some schools, responding to requests, have chosen to support and accompany their students who have decided to take part. Naturally, these schools cannot take any responsibility for students that are not in their care.
For public information:
While the Schools’ Climate Action Network includes many more schools, due to time constraints this press release has been issued by six schools in the network; North Wicklow Educate Together Secondary School, Cork Educate Together Secondary School, Stepaside Educate Together Secondary School, St.Michael's College in Dublin, Newpark Comprehensive School and Coláiste Bríde, Enniscorthy.
EVENT SCHEDULES - School Strike for Climate Ireland - March 15th 2019
12:00 – Gather at 22 St. Stephen’s Green (outside Cliff Townhouse)
12:30 – March via Dawson Street to Molesworth Street
13:00 - 14:00 – Rally outside the Dáil (on Molesworth Street)
More details here: https://www.facebook.com/SchoolStrike4ClimateIreland
11:00 – Gather in front of the Opera House
11:30 - Walk via Patrick’s Street, Grand Parade and the Mall to City hall
12:00 – 13.00 Protest outside City Hall
More details here: https://twitter.com/pullthebrakes
A press release was issued on 30th January jointly by nine schools who have connected with one another through the Schools’ Climate Action Network. Please find a link to this press release on the Network’s website: www.schoolsclimateaction.ie
Students called on fellow students to complete a short survey to help begin a discussion about prioritising which climate action demands they feel are most important. The survey can be found here https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TTHH67C