Students from schools and colleges in Cornwall are on strike and have gathered in Truro, as a call to action for world leaders regarding climate change.
The rally is part of a national effort called ‘Youth Strike 4 Climate’ in which thousands of 5 to 18-year-olds aren’t attending school to be part of demonstrations.
Amongst the cheers and chants of hundreds of youths and supportive adults, speeches were given by event organisers and keen pupils who wished to weigh in with how an uncertain future affects their lives.
Penryn college student Fred spoke to Truthfal about what concerned him most about climate change: “We’re not only making the world unliveable for us, but also for other species.
“There’s always the opportunity to do the right thing if you can, even if it’s the harder option.”
After reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of global temperatures reaching 1.5C, experts have warned that the planet is facing a 12-year time frame to cut carbon emissions in half – or face dramatic consequences.
Although a few years on from being a student herself, Virginia – who was one of many adult supervisors – spoke of what she thought about students sacrificing their education in the name of climate change: “I think is the most important thing they could be doing. I’m hoping this will be part of a huge snowball effect and everyone will take part.”
The movement has gained rapid momentum since thousands of pupils from various European countries have all taken part in similar events.
When asked what message he would have for world leaders, 9-year-old demonstrator Zaf replied: “I would say ban all petrol vehicles.” Responses such as this were common from Zaf’s age group, though there was an atmosphere of genuine concern from those whose opinion so often goes unheard.
Though world leaders have been given continuous warning to take immediate action, emissions continue to rise creating even greater uncertainty for future generations.