Young demonstrators brave the cold for Stevenage climate strike

PUBLISHED: 17:13 03 December 2019 | UPDATED: 17:13 03 December 2019

The Herts branch of the UK Student Climate Network organise a climate strike to demand action against the climate emergency on Friday. Picture: Stephen Pike

The Herts branch of the UK Student Climate Network organise a climate strike to demand action against the climate emergency on Friday. Picture: Stephen Pike

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Prostesters turned out in Stevenage town centre on Friday for one of many demonstrations calling for urgent action on the climate crisis.

The Herts branch of the UK Student Climate Network organise a climate strike to demand action against the climate emergency on Friday. Picture: UKSCNThe Herts branch of the UK Student Climate Network organise a climate strike to demand action against the climate emergency on Friday. Picture: UKSCN

The Hertfordshire branch of the UK Student Climate Network - a movement of young people formed in December last year - invited residents to come along for the strike on Friday morning.

One of the organisers, 17-year-old Zain Gibson, said: "It was inspiring to see people out, even though it was freezing!

"Hopefully our actions locally are starting to raise more interest with the public, the climate crisis is really a personal issue to everyone on Earth."

The network has co-ordinated more than 550 demonstrations and aims for the government to declare a climate emergency and implement a Green New Deal.

The Herts branch of the UK Student Climate Network organise a climate strike to demand action against the climate emergency on Friday. Picture: Stephen Pike The Herts branch of the UK Student Climate Network organise a climate strike to demand action against the climate emergency on Friday. Picture: Stephen Pike

It also demands for the education system to be reformed to teach young people about the urgency, severity and scientific basis of the climate crisis, that the government communicate the severity of the ecological crisis and the necessity to act now to the general public, and that the government incorporates youth views into policy-making and brings the voting age down to 16.

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North Herts District Council and Stevenage Borough Council both declared a climate emergency earlier this year, with aims for reducing carbon emissions in their respective areas.

Stevenage aims to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050, while North Herts hopes to achieve this by 2030.

The Herts branch of the UK Student Climate Network organise a climate strike to demand action against the climate emergency on Friday. Picture: Stephen Pike The Herts branch of the UK Student Climate Network organise a climate strike to demand action against the climate emergency on Friday. Picture: Stephen Pike

Alyssa Butterfield, 17, said: "To see so many diffrent people come together at the strike as a community to protest and voice their concerns and thoughts was incredibly touching.

"We can do great things, if done together."

Tina Bhartwas, a fellow campaigner from North Herts, said: "We have until 2030 to prevent the damage to our planet becoming irreversible. An unprecedented transformation is required.

"In order to achieve this aim we must take collective action at entry level nationally and globally.

"If we do not take action now it will be too late. We are striking for our futures and the future of out planet."

The Herts branch of UKSCN organised similar strikes in Stevenage and St Albans in September this year.

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