This Friday members of Scottish Youth Climate Strikes will be leaving school to hold a march from the Meadows to the Scottish Parliament to protest climate inaction. 

We will be joined by students across Scotland, with millions expected to take part across the world. The global school strike movement was inspired by the Swedish climate activist, Greta Thunberg, who started school striking last August and has inspired millions of school children around the world to take action on climate change. 

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We fully acknowledge the Scottish Parliament has recently declared a climate emergency and we now demand that this statement is acted upon.  The current climate change bill being debate is aiming for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. This isn’t soon enough. 

The world’s most highly regarded climate scientists have stated we have 11 years left before we reach an unstable level of global warming, due to human-produced greenhouse gas emissions. If we are unable to cut global climate emissions in half before 2030, we will face the devastating effects of irreversible climate breakdown.  

Droughts and heatwaves, stronger and more frequent hurricanes, rising sea levels which will destroy coastal communities, mass migration due to climate change, the ice-free Arctic by 2050, a significant increase in insect-borne diseases and mass extinction of millions of species. This is what awaits our generation if governments are unable to take the actions necessary to reduce emissions within this decade. 

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This is why we ask all schools and councils to show support for our strike on Friday. As a nation, we must show the world that we will stand up for planet Earth, and we won’t let the sixth mass extinction occur when it’s within our power to prevent it. 

The First Minister declared a climate emergency, and we applaud. It is a necessity that serious action is taken to avert this crisis. We are marching to ensure this happens. An expected 6,000 school strikers will let the Scottish Parliament know that just declaring an emergency is not enough, and that we need them to act on it. 

If they do not, they are taking away our future. We urge you to join us. 

Dylan Hamilton, 14, and Sandy Boyd, 15, are SYCS organisers in Edinburgh.