Buckingham Grammar School join global student climate change protest

Royal Latin students protest against climate inaction
Royal Latin students protest against climate inaction

Students from The Royal Latin School in Buckingham took the morning off from their usual schedule last Friday to call for more action on climate change.

Students from The Royal Latin School in Buckingham took the morning off from their usual schedule last Friday to call for more action on climate change.

Jacob Harris

Jacob Harris

Approximately 200 students from the Grammar School joined over a million of their peers around the world to express their frustration and anger at their respective governments and their parents' generation for not doing enough to confront the impending climate crisis.

The teenagers managed the event themselves which took place in the school grounds. They displayed banners, created a pledge book for pupils to make personal commitments to reduce their own carbon footprint and made inspirational speeches to the large crowd that had turned out in spite of the rain.

One organiser, Lucy Elvin of year 12, said:

“I went to the first protest in London and it was really amazing to see the amount of support. I know a lot of students couldn't make it but I know a lot of our students are interested in the environment so I wanted to provide that opportunity to the whole school.”

Lucy Elvin

Lucy Elvin

The event was also attended by a guest speaker from the Oxfordshire Green Party, Robert Nixon. In a rousing speech, the climax of which can be viewed on our website, Mr Nixon expressed his dismay that more than 600 of the 650 MPs in parliament failed to attend the recent debate on climate change, adding:

“The decisions being made by our government are driving us close and closer to environmental collapse and no wonder they're making these choices – they're kept in power by the climate denying dinosaurs of the DUP.”

The biggest cheer of the day though was reserved for another key figure in making the event come together - 14-year-old Jacob Harris. Clearly very popular with his fellow students, he kept his speech brief, probably due to him being somewhat under the weather on the day, but he was nonetheless greeted on stage by the chanting of his name in true rock star fashion.

Jacob told the students there were three things they could do; make a pledge, sign the petition to the government and write to their MP. Afterwards he said this to the paper:

Royal Latin students with their climate change protest banners

Royal Latin students with their climate change protest banners

“I feel we need change and it's a shame that the current government isn't doing enough at the moment. We need green energy, better public transport so there are less cars on the road, things like that. If we keep pushing, if the whole world keeps pushing, we will eventually get somewhere.”

It's estimated that there were over 2,000 protests across 125 countries last Friday. The global student movement was inspired by 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, now nominated for a Nobel Prize, after she began sitting outside the Swedish parliament every Friday beginning last August.

Last October the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) announced that we have only 12 years to take significant climate action or worsen the risk of droughts, floods, extreme heatwaves and the resulting poverty for hundreds of millions of people.