Parents to protest in support of children’s climate strikes

young activists in London during a recent strike against climate change
Young activists in London during a recent strike against climate change. Photograph: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images

Gary Lineker and Paloma Faith among public figures ‘terrified at what climate crisis means’ for future

— Parents including Gary Lineker, Paloma Faith and Juliet Stevenson have joined children in demanding governments declare a climate emergency and dramatically speed up cuts in carbon emissions.

“We are inspired by the young people who are striking for climate action, but we can’t leave it to our children to fix the mess that past generations have created,” said the 124 public figures who signed an open letter.

They added: “We are terrified at what the growing climate crisis means for children. We are degrading our planet and polluting our air – damaging our children’s health and their hopes for the future. We will do everything in our power to ensure our children grow up safe and happy.”

The letter comes ahead of actions on Sunday, international mothers’ day, including a march in London, protests from Sheffield to Taunton and across Europe from the Netherlands to Spain to Cyprus.

High-profile campaigns for action to stop global warming took place in April. Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenager who has inspired worldwide school strikes, condemned the UK government’s support for fossil fuels and airport expansion as “beyond absurd”. Extinction Rebellion activists also held demonstrations, which led to representatives meeting ministers. On 1 May, MPs endorsed a Labour motion to declare a climate emergency but it was not backed by ministers.

“The climate crisis is an issue for all parents – no matter what we do, or where we live,” said Lineker, who is a TV presenter and former footballer. “Together we need [to] show politicians that this is something we care about, and an issue we will judge them on.”

Stevenson, an actor, said: “Young climate strikers and environmental activists have put the climate crisis on the political agenda but it’s going to take all of us to keep it there.”

The signatories of the letter span the worlds of entertainment, politics, science, business and religion. Actors Jude Law and Daisy Haggard have backed the call for action, along with the leading climate scientist Prof James Hansen, Paul Polman, chair of the International Chamber of Commerce and Christiana Figueres, the former UN climate chief who oversaw the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

The broadcaster Konnie Huq, the comedian Shappi Khorsandi, MPs Ed Miliband and Caroline Lucas, and the former archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams also signed the letter.

The Mothers Rise Up group coordinated the letter. Its founder member Maya Mailer said: “We can’t leave it to our children. As parents we must use out voice, our votes, and our collective power to demand climate action.”

Liset Meddens, who will be protesting in the Netherlands on Sunday, said: “Our government still acts in the interest of big business instead of that of our children. Therefore we come together as mums, parents, caretakers and everyone who cares about our children. We take action and when there is action there is hope.”

Jana Adamec Tkáčová, who will be taking action in the Czech Republic, said: “Drought is deepening in the Czech Republic. Experts on climate change have long warned and few have listened to them. Why do some still feel that there are more pressing social problems than this?”


by Damian Carrington | The Guardian

 

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