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20 September 2019
Young Scots join global climate strike today

A climate strike outside Scottish Parliament earlier this year - Image credit: Tom Freeman/Holyrood

Young Scots join global climate strike today

Scottish school students will join a global demonstration demanding action on climate change today, attending rallies against global warming across the country.

Inspired by Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg, the Global Strike for Climate in Edinburgh will begin at 11am, with protesters walking from The Meadows, down the Royal Mile and ending up outside the Scottish Parliament. It is expected that 4,000 locations around the world will participate, including 24 different rallies across Scotland.

The demonstration has the backing First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who told parliament yesterday “students engaging in legitimate, peaceful protest should not lose their bursary for doing that”.

“I am more than happy for Further Education Minister to correspond with the member about the detail of those assurances, so students know they can take part in these protests without these concerns,” Sturgeon said

The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) has also thrown its support behind the rally, saying: “trade unionists across Scotland will stand in solidarity with their own workday campaign actions.”

“The STUC encourages all workers to take part in their own workplace action. Let’s stand by students taking action to create a sustainable future,” STUC general secretary Grahame Smith said.

Scottish Greens education spokesperson Ross Greer said the young people striking “don’t want warm words from the Scottish Government”.

“We need radical action now to create jobs, integrate public transport, reforest Scotland and give everyone a warm and secure home. This would dramatically cut emissions and secure a future for all of us, especially the young people striking today.”

Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) said it was “essential now that policy makers take steps to ensure that cutting emissions to meet ‘Net Zero’ targets doesn’t increase inequality in our society”.

“In the energy sector, public and private investment in domestic energy efficiency and renewable technology should be rolled out in a way that benefits the most vulnerable first, especially with half a million households in Scotland living in fuel poverty,” CAS lead for Fair Markets Jamie Stewart said.

“There also needs to be honesty about who foots the bill for developing infrastructure which will let us meet climate targets. We can’t expect people who are already just about managing to support things like electric vehicle charging networks if it means paying more on their bills. 

“So while we are at the exciting cusp of warm words being turned into action – that action must be well thought through, fair and provide support and protection to those already struggling in today’s society.”

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