Source: An Taisce
Tomorrow (Friday, March 15th) at 1pm, thousands of protesters are expected to assemble at Dáil Eireann and at other venues across Ireland and around the world for the first ever Global Climate Strike.
This grassroots movement began just six months ago, when Swedish schoolgirl, Greta Thunberg sat down alone on the steps of the Swedish parliament building, beginning a weekly ‘school strike’, demanding every Friday that her government take urgent action on climate change.
Since then, the #FridaysForFuture movement has swept the globe. Tomorrow, an estimated 1,769 climate strikes will take place in some 112 countries worldwide, with schoolchildren and students leading the protests.
Much of the organising for tomorrow’s events has been carried out by both students and volunteer groups of teachers who are inspired by their students’ concerns about the future and desire to work for a safer future for all. They are to be strongly commended for their efforts and passion.
An Taisce has not been involved in organising tomorrow’s event, but wishes it every success and many of our members will be in attendance to show support and solidarity with the students. The An Taisce Green Schools programme has been working for many years on helping build environmental awareness among our young.
Action is now more important than ever, since accelerating climate change and biodiversity collapse are the greatest threats facing today’s youngsters in their adult lives. An Taisce is proud to stand behind the young people taking to the streets tomorrow, and we emphatically support their demand that the Irish government honour its legal and moral commitments under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
We share their sense of outrage that instead of being a leader, Ireland is instead among the very worst states in the EU on taking meaningful action to tackle climate change and help avert the catastrophic consequences that every major scientific institution in the world has warned are becoming ever more likely.
That Ireland has used its influence at EU level to delay meaningful climate action, acting at the behest of powerful lobby groups, is a source of national embarrassment and international shame.
“Today’s children and teenagers are the young voters of tomorrow, and they will, in their tens of thousands, sweep politicians from power who continue to bend the knees to vested interests and look the other way as environmental destruction continues unchecked”, according to John Gibbons, An Taisce’s Climate Change Committee spokesperson.
For Ireland, tomorrow’s march is a crucial first step on the road from climate laggard to achieving meaningful climate action on behalf of Irish young people and future generations, and for the security of our planet’s biosphere. It is long past time that we behaved as a responsible modern state that places sustainability and the needs of the future at the heart of all decision-making.
In the inspirational words of Greta Thunberg: “Once we start to act, hope is everywhere. So, instead of looking for hope, look for action. Then and only then, hope will come”.
For further information, contact:
John Gibbons, An Taisce Climate Change Committee: +353 87 233 2689
Charles Stanley-Smith, Communications, An Taisce. Tel: +353 87 241 1995
An Taisce The National Trust for Ireland
About An Taisce
An Taisce is a charity that works to preserve and protect Ireland’s natural and built heritage. We are an independent charitable voice for the environment and for heritage issues. We are not a government body, semi-state or agency. Founded in 1948, we are one of Ireland’s oldest and largest environmental organisations.