Protesters call for climate change action in Sidmouth

PUBLISHED: 12:52 15 February 2019

Students standing up and calling for change with a climate change protest in Sidmouth. Picture: Sarah Hall

Students standing up and calling for change with a climate change protest in Sidmouth. Picture: Sarah Hall

Archant

The young and old gathered together to take a stand, protesting over climate change in Sidmouth.

Students standing up and calling for change with a climate change protest in Sidmouth. Picture: Sarah HallStudents standing up and calling for change with a climate change protest in Sidmouth. Picture: Sarah Hall

More than 30 people met in Market Place on Friday (February 15) as part of a nation-wide movement.

Thousands of youngsters were expected to take part in the mass walk out across the UK as part of an international youth campaign which demands action reaches this country.

Students are urging the government declare a climate emergency and take active steps to tackle the problem, communicate the severity of the ecological crisis to the public and reform the curriculum to make it an educational priority.

Sidmouth residents Richard Fuell and Julie Stoyel, who organised the Sidmouth protest, said: “Lots of people were very supportive of what we were doing, although we did have one man challenge us - his attitude was that he will be dead before any changes take place. It was disappointing that there weren’t more people but it was well received.

Students standing up and calling for change with a climate change protest in Sidmouth. Picture: Sarah HallStudents standing up and calling for change with a climate change protest in Sidmouth. Picture: Sarah Hall

“The signs are there and we need to do something - the children are the ones that are going to be affected.

“The protest helped the public realise there is a problem and raised awareness. We need to do something or nothing is going to change on our planet.

“It needs to come from a high power - when David Attenborough did a programme about plastic everyone started talking about it.

“Renewable energy is there but people don’t know about it and they don’t want to change because there is nothing in it for them.

“In 50 years time we will be dead but our kids will be suffering.”

Devon County Council says the aims and objectives of the movement ‘are consistent with those of the council whose cabinet has recommended that the authority declare a ‘climate emergency’ at a full council meeting next week.

Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council’s cabinet member for the environment said: “There is no doubt there is a climate emergency and unless something is done, climate change will affect people, the environment, business and our prosperity.

“We fully support the objectives of young people to reduce carbon emissions and DCC has been working hard for many years to ensure that we are on course to meet the IPCC’s carbon reduction recommendations.

“We are working with strategic partners to develop a plan to ensure that Devon meets the internationally recognised target of carbon neutrality by 2050.

“If we are to stem the increase in global temperatures everyone of all ages and all walks of life has to work together.”

Anna Taylor, of UK Student Climate Network, said: “We’ve had enough and we’re making sure our voice is heard.

“We’re ready to let politicians know we won’t accept anything less than a commitment to protect the planet for the good of everyone.”

The National Association of Head Teachers said it did not condone students being out of the classroom to take action.

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