Lancaster students 'scared about future' mark first year of youth climate strikes

Young people have been demonstrating in the city every month to demand meaningful local and national government action on climate change.
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Lancaster Youth For Environment (LYFE), have been gathering in Lancaster once a month for 12 months to show solidarity with the global Fridays for Future movement.

They marked the first anniversary of the student climate strikes on February 14, and said the constant pressure and visibility was intended to push local and national government to stand by promises on climate action.

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Lancaster City Council declared a climate emergency in January 2019, and is currently holding a 'People's Jury' which will help develop climate change actions.LYFE coordinator Hamish Mills, 17, said: "The strikes have had a lot of popularity with the young people of Lancaster with hundreds of people regularly turning up.

Demonstrations on the plinth in Market Square, LancasterDemonstrations on the plinth in Market Square, Lancaster
Demonstrations on the plinth in Market Square, Lancaster

"LYFE has organised the strikes and is a peaceful organisation with four aims: to raise awareness of climate change and the global emergency we are facing; to encourage local schools, universities and businesses to be more environmentally friendly; to hold the City Council accountable on their decision to declare a climate emergency and to get young people involved in climate activism in the local area.

"The regular strikes help achieve these aims by making our ideals clear to the public and the constant pressure pushes the local government to stand to their promises."

Members of LYFE also attend advisory board meetings, sit on Lancaster City Council's climate change citizens jury oversight panel, and take part in practical events such as tree planting and litter picking.

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When asked why they attended the strikes, young people commented:

LYFE supporters in Lancaster.LYFE supporters in Lancaster.
LYFE supporters in Lancaster.

“Because I'm scared about my future.”

“To stand in solidarity with a global movement in the interest of benefiting the environment and all those who live within it.”

“Because I am truly scared of what the future holds and I am not going to sit silently with that feeling, which would be telling those in power contributing to climate change that it is okay, when it is not.”

“Because we are fed up of ignorance and denial and demand the government takes action to mitigate the climate crisis, the greatest threat to humanity.”

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“Because we have no choice, if we want a future on this planet for our children and their grandchildren, we need to take action, and take action now, as Greta Thunberg clearly states – our house is on fire”.