Students join global youth protest on climate change

Date: Friday 22nd March 2019
With their banners are Year 8 students (left to right) Tiegan Lowthian, Darcie Bidgood, Maderia Unbedahre and Liza Bardy.
With their banners are Year 8 students (left to right) Tiegan Lowthian, Darcie Bidgood, Maderia Unbedahre and Liza Bardy.

STUDENTS at Penrith’s Ullswater Community College joined an international youth-led “strike” to demand cuts in greenhouse gas emissions on Friday.

Ullswater Community College students bang the drum for their protest.
Ullswater Community College students bang the drum for their protest.

Pupils across all the school’s year groups took part in the demonstration, with staff also invited to attend and headteacher Nick Ellery fully in support.

They assembled in the playground, with some carrying banners to raise awareness of increasing global temperatures and call for change.

Nicola McCammy, philosophy and citizenship teacher, said the global protest was aimed at pushing for policy changes to tackle climate change.

Penrith and the Border MP Rory Stewart visited the college to meet students taking part in the protest. Ella Purdy, one of its organisers, invited Mr Stewart to meet with the students to discuss their concerns, and he was “delighted” to accept.

They engaged in a productive discussion, in which the students voiced their views and Mr Stewart explained the Government’s policy programme which has targets for major reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

They also discussed his voting record, and why the Government has favoured certain measures over others. The students thanked Mr Stewart for speaking to them.

“Climate change is one of the great challenges of our age, and it was wonderful to see so many students engaging thoughtfully with the issue. I was very impressed by their knowledge and their passion — both of which are a real tribute to them and their teachers,” said Mr Stewart.

“We agreed on the need to combat climate change, and it was interesting to hear their views on what the Government has done and what it should do. I look forward to visiting them again to continue our discussion in due course.”