East Dunbartonshire Council should back young people who choose to strike from school to highlight the urgent need for climate action, according to Scottish Greens MSP Ross Greer.
An estimated 15,000 people took part in a wave of climate strikes across the UK in February, inspired by 16-year-old Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg.
Now, Ross Greer, Green MSP for the West of Scotland has written to education bosses at East Dunbartonshire urging them to support – and not to punish – young people ahead of the planned global strike on March 15.
Citing Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence and its objective of young people becoming ‘responsible citizens’ in addition to the First Minister’s call for their voices to be heard, Ross has urged the council to understand the struggle faced by young people who will grow up in a world gripped by total climate breakdown unless transformative action is taken immediately.
Ross said: “The climate crisis - and how we all respond to it - will now unavoidably define the lives of young people. The scientific evidence of a climate crisis is clear. The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change states that we will face catastrophic impacts even if countries manage to limit warming to just 1.5 degrees Celsius, a target we are not close to reaching.
“It’s clear why many young people feel compelled to speak out and urge stronger action from governments and corporations who have not just failed to tackle this crisis but who have caused it.
“Councils should support young people who choose to strike for the climate - after all, they epitomise what it means to be responsible citizens. They should certainly ensure that there is no threat of any form of punishment.”