AROUND forty school pupils skipped school last Friday in order to protest outside Holyrood against climate change. For some this was their third week of what's called Climate Strike. They are part of a growing global movement inspired by Swedish schoolgirl, Greta Thunberg, who began striking from school 23 weeks ago and continues to do so every Friday.

Among them was nine-year-old Ruby and six-year-old Dougie, from Perthshire, who were, on January 11, were the first children to climate strike outside the Scottish parliament. Ruby decided, after she saw video of Thunberg’s speeches in December, that she too wanted to strike and join the movement. They did their strike warmly dressed in salopettes and woolly hats and holding cardboard placards they had made themselves bearing the hashtag of the movement #fridaysforfuture.

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Ruby said, “I saw Greta in a video around December time and I thought I would like to do that too. I thought that we both wanted to do the same stuff. One of the most important things is what transport people use, so we’re trying to get people to walk, if it’s short distances, and take the train if it’s a long distance. You can get the train to England and some people take the plane instead and the plane uses more fossil fuels.”

Others, from high schools in Edinburgh, including Boroughmuir, James Gillespie’s and Leith Academy, joined them outside the parliament last Friday. Some had even bussed up from Peebles. 16-year-old Charlotte Muller Stuart from Peebles said, “In school, no one talks about it. I didn’t even know that climate change was like a big deal until I researched it and the IPCC report. The thing that has got to me most is that figure from the report of eleven years until it’s insane weather and disasters happening and flooding. You say that to people and they don’t believe you.”

12-year-old Iola Wallace from Leith Academy said she was pleased to have taken part in her “first action”. I’ve never actually done an action before. This is my first and I want to make a difference in the world.” She and her sister, 9-year-old Celeste Wallace, said they wanted people to "Stop and listen to the Earth".

Young members of Extinction Rebellion also joined the protest. 17-year-old Kira Wolfe Murray, a member of the eco club at James Gillespie’s, said she had been inspired when she went to some Extinction Rebellion meetings last year. “I felt that kids would want to do the same kind of thing, but there wasn’t really the outlet, so when this youth strike thing started happening on a global scale, I felt we definitely wanted to join.”

Wolfe-Murray, who was there with other members of the school’s eco club, said, “We’d like to see more education in school about sustainability. We’d like to see governments take more action to prevent climate change”

A UK wide student strike has been called on Friday 15 February 2019. One of the biggest waves of climate strikes took place in Australia in November last year, when, it’s estimated around 15,000 children left their classrooms.