Our directory of things of interest

University Directory

Global Climate Strike: Voices of the protestors

  • Written by  Helena Hosking
  • Published in Climate
Global Climate Strike: Voices of the protestors (Image: Helena Hosking)
21 Sep
Yesterday saw one of the biggest public protest movements in history take to streets around the world. We caught up with some of the voices being raised in central London to hear what they had to say...

Maddie Taylor right(Image: Helena Hosking)

Maddie, 18 (right, above)
I’m bats**t terrified about what’s going to happen if we don’t change anything, and the panic of just wanting to change things for my kids and for myself. I have to do something about it because I can't just sit at home watching it happen. I want the government to just acknowledge that we are here and the world wants something to change.

James, 23
We are marching because we are running out of time. We are facing mass starvation in the next 10, 12, 15 years and our government is talking and not actually doing anything so we are here to make them act. I want them to prioritise the environmental agenda ahead of politics and put a back seat on things that fundamentally will not matter if we plan to live on. So while we place too much priority and press on Brexit, there will be no world to live in if we don't address the climate issue first. We need to end subsidies to fossil fuel industries and redirect them to renewable energies, taking finance out of these large corporations and putting it into smaller schemes.

Lucy and Eddie(Image: Helena Hosking)

Lucy and Eddie, 16 (above)
We care about the environment and we want change, time is running out. Big corporations have to to make changes. We can't make a difference unless big corporations get on board and try to help as well. We also need more about climate change in education, because we don't learn enough about it.

Justin, 43
This is the most important issue, it cuts across every other issue we are talking about at the moment. You can make certain changes in your own lifestyle, but ultimately it's going to need a mass movement to get anything serious done. Ideally you want action at the governmental level. There would need to be policy shifts and if anything serious is going to change it's going to be on an economic and political level - changes in the way things are taxed, paid for, what we incentivise companies to do. It needs to be what you’d expect for a country on a war footing, it needs to be as radical as that.

Greenpeace woman(Image: Helena Hosking)

'Greenpeace woman', 59 (above)
I believe it was our generation that started all the mess. We've got three children, we may have grandchildren, and unless we do something now there may not be a world for them to live in. Today is about raising the awareness. It's happening all over the world so we hope to put pressure on the people who make judgements that aren't accurate. The governments, the big oil industries and other industries. They’ve got to start doing something now, it can't start in 20 or 30 years.

Anonymous, 18
I want the government to bring the net-zero emissions target earlier and to divest in fossil fuels and invest in renewable energy and I would like us to fully electrify our train and bus networks and taxis and to tax carbon. I don't know how we do it, I'm not an expert, but I know we have to.

Lizzie right(Image: Helena Hosking)

Lizzie, 27 (above)
I’m protesting to put pressure on governments and big businesses to show that it can’t just be about us taking individual action but they need to start doing something. It's not about us using paper straws, it's about radical large change. The more people on the streets the more pressure it puts on them to do it. I'm getting tired of feeling it's all on us as individuals. It needs to come from them at the top. It’s hard to know what exactly is going to come of it, because it feels like you do this thing all the time and you’re not sure. This feels like a really exciting moment though.

Ollie, 21
We are currently heading towards mass extinction and if we don't take action now in regards to the environment, the world's going to turn into chaos. We need to wake up to the animal agriculture crisis, many people don't understand the magnitude that animal agriculture puts on our environment.

Alicia left(Image: Helena Hosking)

Alicia, 16 (above)
The government needs to realise this is a really big issue and that we can't do this on our own. The government needs to change to reduce the amount of fossil fuels emitted as it's a large contributor to climate change. So much of our emissions are from just a few large corporations and we can't change that, they need to change that. That’s not in our power but this is what we can do to try and make that noticed by the government. I think we need to introduce a New Green Deal, one that's more sustainable.

Maya, 18
I’m hoping governments will try and adopt greener policies, more eco-friendly policies. Hopefully more eco-friendly parties will be elected, not only in the UK but around the world. And that will make bigger change than any of us put together can.

Andrew(Image: Helena Hosking)

Andrew, 62 (above)
The time for reducing carbon emissions is too far ahead and it's almost certain that the government will not meet those targets, so this should put the pressure on them to keep pushing. Governments and businesses have a vital role to play, they need to change the way they do things, give the incentives and market drive to actually do something. The government needs to create the conditions where all of us act.

Anonymous, 25
Obviously the climate is getting merked a bit and currently the government isn’t really helping us with their policies. This is a global protest. We are here to build the numbers, show our face and join the movement.

geo line break v3

Free eBooks - Geographical Newsletter

Get the best of Geographical delivered straight to your inbox by signing up to our weekly newsletter and get a free collection of eBooks!

geo line break v3

Related items

NEVER MISS A STORY - Follow Geographical on Social

Want to stay up to date with breaking Geographical stories? Join the thousands following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and stay informed about the world.

More articles in NATURE...


The Paris Agreement has reached adolescence. Its final stages of…


A report presented at COP25 highlights the trouble with tourism,…


For the 25th time in history, the United Nations has…


The Wildlife Photographer of the Year’s Rising Star winner brings…


Abandoned coal mines contain a precious resource in the warm…


Marco Magrini wonders if the annual gathering of world leadership…


A new animation produced by the charity Born Free raises…


The United States is grappling with a wild pig invasion.…


Increased interest in the farming of endangered animals as a…


Will 2019 go down as the year that the world…


Large-scale air travel is under public scrutiny, and refusing to…


A review of climate crisis coverage in the global media…


Marco Magrini looks at the carbon capturing power of the ocean’s…


Marine Protected Areas are designed to benefit the marine ecosystem…


The link between China’s economic growth and increased pollution has…


An analysis of nine year’s worth of lightning data, covering…


When getting on ‘board’ with sustainability is the entire goal


Many scientists believe that jellyfish numbers are increasing, pointing to…


Prepare to be inspired, startled and filled with awe in…


Excessive use of nitrogen-based fertilisers is contributing to numerous environmental…