On Friday, thousands of school children across Scotland walked out from their schools to strike for climate action. They joined many more thousands in an estimated 1659 actions around the world as part of the global strike led by Greta Thunberg, the Swedish schoolgirl activist who has galvanised a movement.

But who are the key figures in the Scottish strikes? And what are they fighting for?

Holly Gillibrand, 13, Lochaber High School

“This has been my 10th week of climate strike. I didn’t know a lot about climate change before last year, apart from that it was happening and affecting nature. Then I saw Greta Thunberg giving her speech in Helsinki, Finland. She said she was striking for the climate, so I looked into what she was doing and then I realised how big and serious climate change was.

My teachers support me doing this strike. A couple of them have let me put a poster up on their door, but the headteacher and the Highland Council doesn’t like what we’re doing.

My message is that the Scottish government needs to come into line with the Paris agreement. They’re saying they’re a leader in climate action, but we’re actually in the worst third of countries for carbon per capita.

I feel politicians’ heads are in the wrong place at the moment. When there was a debate in Westminster following the last big strike, only eight government MPs turned up. It makes me feel very angry because this is a sad reflection of how our politicians value the very existence of life on this planet.

Sometimes I am overwhelmed by the scariness, but the strikes keep you busy and you feel you are doing something that will hopefully make a difference. When I’m doing the strikes or something with Extinction Rebellion, I feel less worried because people are fighting for change. It’s when I’m at school and see people just going about their daily lives when there’s a crisis happening – that’s when it really strikes me.

Some people’s perceptions on climate change are mindboggling. Some people even seem to think it is a good thing. I’d like to see more climate change education in school. We’ve been taught absolutely nothing.”

Charlotte Muller Stuart, 17, Peebles High School

“I’m doing the climate strike because I don’t really feel climate change is being treated as a crisis. If it was then we would hear about it all the time. So many people at my school don’t take it really seriously, and I think that’s because the government, adults or the school never talk to them about it. The government should start educating people more about climate change.

For a long time, I didn’t really understand what climate change meant and it felt so stupid that I had to ask questions. But we were never really taught about it in school. So after a lot of researching I found out about it and that there is such an much overwhelming evidence of climate change. But you have to go and find it.

My sister did environmental sustainability at university. It was her that started really opening our minds up about it. She explained to us the basics of it. We were very shocked and because she’s quite a forceful person she’s managed to make my mum very sustainable too. So now me, my brother and my mum are vegetarian and my sister is vegan. We live in a historic house, Traquair House, and my mum works there. My dad is a UN mediator.

My main feeling around it is terrified. It sounds surreal when you listen to all the evidence. It’s hard for me sometimes to process that it’s real. People act like it isn’t real and tell you to your face that it isn’t real.

I think many of the people in my school didn’t really know much about climate change until we started up an eco club

It happened so quickly that we can’t really put all the blame on the last generation. Also my generation is currently making the problem worse. Our whole generation is now obsessed with excessing on things. We’re just so used to getting what we want and just having things at such low prices. In our culture right now you can’t go to two parties in the same dress. It’s almost a crime.”

Hector Friend, 17, James Gillespie’s High School

“Climate strike is about putting pressure on governments and showing there’s public will. We are the future voters and this is the issue that we’re interested in most. We’re about to turn 18. They should take notice.

This is the ninth week that people have been climate striking in Scotland. It’s working. We wouldn’t be having this interview with you if it wasn’t working, we wouldn’t be meeting the First Minister if it wasn’t working.

Two years ago I went vegan after I watched the documentary Cowspiracy. I’d say that was about me taking personal responsibility. But I think not everyone is going to make that transition. I began to recognise we need the system to change, the government to change and implement policy.

My dad is a headteacher and my mum is a lawyer. My dad was into activism when he was a student. When I was growing up, I don’t think I really knew much about climate change – not in primary school. It was only from my own research going through high school that I properly found out about it.

The government needs to be more ambitious than its commitment to 90% carbon neutral by 2050. One of our demands is carbon neutral by 2025.

I agree with what Jeremy Corbyn said about poverty and climate being more important than Brexit.

I catch up on my schoolwork at the weekends, so the strike more eats into my free time than my education. You see people making comments on articles saying, ‘Get back to school you’re wasting our time and messing up your education.’ But if you read the Scottish curriculum for excellence, three of its four capacities are ‘responsible citizen’, ‘effective contributor’ and ‘confident individual’. This movement embodies all three.”

Kira Wolfe Murray, 17, James Gillespie’s High School

“For a large proportion of my life I was aware of climate change. My parents were aware of it and made me aware and I thought it was horrible and devastating. Seeing Greta Thunberg take action was amazing. It led me to take action. She said, ‘We are the adults now.’ It puts it in your own hands and shows you the impact you can have.

There’s a lot of fear for us especially because we are so young, and this is going to directly affect us. That fear is very motivating. But in more recent weeks I’ve felt a lot of hope, with the strikes and with the organised group, and seeing that it’s getting recognised. Hope is driving us.

We’re also part of a group at our school called Issue Now, which we started after we watched I, Daniel Blake and every year the issue we focus on changes – this year it’s period poverty.”

Nancy Baijonauth, 16, All Saints Secondary

“It feels like we grew up knowing that climate change was happening. But it was when I saw what Greta was doing and the last climate strike that I started to take it seriously and think here was something I needed to do. My family weren’t really environmentally aware. But they are supportive of me striking.

I’m striking because people around the world are already suffering from the effects of climate change and it’s mostly not their fault. It’s always the people of developed countries that are causing this – countries like the UK and America.

I don’t know of anyone else in my school who has come today. I guess in my school people think their studies are more important. I was nervous coming on my own, but I’m hopeful because there are so many like-minded people here. “

Evie Hylands, 15, Balfron High School

“I’m the same age as Greta and it really made me think, ‘Someone my age is actually being listened to.’ She’s a huge inspiration. But my family were always environmentally aware. After the IPCC report last year I completely cut out meat from my diet. Because I’m actually too young to vote, for me this strike is about having a good opportunity to have my voice heard.”

Anna Warren, 17, Balfron High School

“My main aim is to get the government to listen. I feel we are excluded from decision-making. We are asking the government to stick with what they have agreed to do, and help us save our future.”

Ruby, 9, Perthshire

“I’ve been coming with my brother Dougie every fortnight since January 11 when we were the first here. The climate strike may seem like just sitting outside the parliament getting cold, but the point is that we are really doing that for the environment, so hopefully we’ll have a clean green future. If we do it by 2030, which is what we’re aiming for, that will mean we’ve not run out of time. But if we start after we will be in danger of having a bad planet.

Climate change is almost like a big greenhouse around the planet and it’s keeping all the warmth in. The people who cause it least are poor people. The coal burners and people who sell coal are the worst. I think maybe it would be good if it could be illegal to sell coal and fossil fuels.

I learned some of what I know about climate change from my mum, some of it from Greta, and lots of it from books. When I was four, I wrote a letter to the First Minister about what I thought about climate change, and I drew a polar bear on a bus, because the polar bears are the animals suffering, and buses are a better transport choice.

The biggest thing we could do is stop using coal completely by the time I’m 21, in 11 years. Most of the people who are ignoring climate change are the people who like to sell coal and like to burn coal. They ignore that and pretend it’s not happening, by going, ‘No, it’s not happening.’ So that then they can carry on with their job and not be kicked out or something.

I was partly inspired by my Papa, my grandfather, who was director of the World Wildlife Fund. He owned a farm so we would usually go for walks around there and he would say, look there’s a blue tit. I got a tree planted for me when I was one year old.

I’m a bit bothered about Brexit but this is the main thing, because we can’t stop climate change as easily as we can stop Brexit. We can stop Brexit just by saying right we don’t want it any more. But with climate change, we’ve got to work, work, work until it's fixed.”