Exeter Greens throw their support behind today’s Youth Strike for the climate

15 March 2019

Local Green Party members will join students striking from schools, colleges and university today to demand the government takes real action on climate change. The monthly strikes – which now take place monthly across the globe, have been inspired by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, who has been nominated for the Nobel Peace prize. 

Last month over 700 school, college and university students attended the Exeter strike at County Hall, making it the fourth largest such strike in the country. Organisers expect this month’s gathering to be even larger and young people, their parents and supporters will gather at Cathedral Green at 12.30pm before marching on the Civic Centre. Green Party members will join the action at the Cathedral.

Last month Labour councillors tore up a motion on declaring a climate emergency proposed by Green Party councillor, Chris Musgrave. A week earlier, Devon County Council councillors did agree a climate emergency, but watered down the target date for carbon neutrality, proposed by Green councillor Jacqi Hodgson, from 2030 to 2050.  

Diana Moore, prospective Green Party councillor, said: 

“Young people understand we face a climate emergency and that their future is on the line. Climate scientists have warned we have a limited window of opportunity to avoid climate catastrophe. We need those in positions of power, both nationally and locally, to listen to the demands of our young people and take bold actions now on energy, transport, food production and housing that will secure their future.

“I understand the dilemma faced by schools, but I would urge parents and teachers across Exeter to support children and young people who want to take part in this historic civic action.”

Cllr Chris Musgrave said:

“Our Labour council is failing these young people by refusing to declare a climate emergency. Declaring such an emergency provides a basis for the actions that will be needed to become a carbon neutral city by 2030. Such a declaration would also add to the pressure on national government to provide local authorities with the funding and resources needed to push us towards carbon neutrality.” 

Green MEP for the South West, Molly Scott Cato, said:

“The huge support for these strikes shows that far from being disengaged, many young people do care passionately about our planet and the welfare of our neighbours across the world. They deserve our unreserved support and I hope that, rather than being punished, students who take part will have the opportunity to share their experiences of active citizenship with their peers.”