School strikers demand climate action in first protest since COP26

Seven protests have taken place in towns and cities across Scotland on Friday.

School children and students across Scotland have taken to the streets on Friday for the first time since COP26 as they strike to demand climate action.

Striking pupils skipped school to join thousands across the globe to call for more to be done to protect the world’s climate and environment.

The strikes – in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dumfries, Falkirk, Inverness, Stirling and Ullapool – will be among more than 700 protests worldwide as part of the Fridays for Future movement which became a global phenomenon when Greta Thunberg refused to go to school in August 2019.

Teenage campaigner Cerys Gough, from Langholm in Dumfries and Galloway, said: “We cannot afford to delay any more, which is why we’re taking to the streets again.”

The 18-year-old added: “The science is clear. We’ve already seen irreversible damage caused by the climate crisis, and the recent IPCC report declared a code red situation.”

The last time young people took part in the climate strikes in Scotland was in November, when thousands took to the streets of Glasgow to demand that the world leaders gathered in the city for COP26 do more to stop climate change.

Cora Gibson, 15, from Edinburgh, said people did not “need to wait for the next Cop to act on the climate crisis”.

“Governments could be investing in renewable energy, phasing out fossil fuels, improving public transport, making our houses less reliant on fossil fuels, and so much more,” the activist said.

And, ahead of the march, Saoi O’Connor said a handful of oil companies had made billions in profit but that “the people on the lowest incomes are being forced into fuel poverty, being forced into choosing between heating their homes or feeding their families”.

The 19-year-old climate striker from Glasgow said: “That is a complete failure, we must prioritise people over profit.”

At 11am in the capital, activists marched from the Scottish Parliament up the Royal Mile to Edinburgh City Chambers.

Strikers in Dumfries, Falkirk, and Inverness held their protests at the same time.

Glasgow seen climate strikers rally in George Square at midday, Stirling seen protestors in Port Street from 2pm, and in Ullapool activists were out from 8.30am.

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