NI Youths Play Their Part In Global Climate Strike

Thousands of people have taken to the streets of Belfast and L'Derry to join the Global Climate Strike.

A protest in Belfast set off from Cornmarket at midday on Friday, 20 September, culminating in a rally at City Hall. Meanwhile, a demonstration was held in L'Derry's Guildhall Square to call for immediate action on climate change.

The local rallies add to the global campaign planned for the next week with school children and young people setting out to lead the way in demands for action to protect the environment.

The movement was inspired by 15-year-old Swedish student Greta Thunberg's solo strike in August 2018. Following her strike, the teenager became a leading figure in youth action on climate change.

Lord Mayor of Belfast Councillor John Finucane praised the young people involved in the climate demonstrations for their "strong civic leadership".

His comments came as he hosted a roundtable 'listening breakfast' in his Parlour on Friday morning to hear views from a range of sectors about the current climate crisis.

Representatives from the charity sector, students' unions and climate campaigners attended the event and highlighted their concerns around the need for action.
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"Belfast City Council recognises the urgency of this issue and has already set up an all-party working group to look at climate change and what that means for our future – both as a Council, and as a city," the Sinn Fein Mayor said.

"I fully and wholeheartedly support today's action which has been initiated by our young people. Our young people are the next generation - the generation that will be most impacted by our actions - or indeed our inaction - now.

"Climate change has reached a point where we need to make urgent and concerted efforts to understand and prepare for its impact. We also have a responsibility as civic leaders to inform our residents and effect positive behaviour change in business and communities."

Coinciding with the global demonstration, Councillor Finucane announced that Friends of the Earth will be one of his chosen charities for the year.

He said: "Environmental charities have an important role to play in the current debate around climate change, and I'm delighted to be able to support and highlight the work of Friends of the Earth during my term in office.

"The charity's vision is for a healthy environment, happy communities, and worthwhile jobs, and I think that is an ambition we can all support and champion."


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