Young people make their voices heard in Climate Emergency
Lola Berni is a member of Liverpool’s Youth Strike 4 Climate movement. Here she tells us more about what inspired her to join the global fight for change.
“I had the opportunity to speak when Liverpool City Council declared a Climate Change Emergency.
This was a big step forward as it shows political commitment to the young people’s future.
Recognising this crisis allows us to treat it as the emergency that it is.
Since the declaration, the movement has grown with 3,000 people in Liverpool taking to the streets on 20 September for the Global Climate Strike and 7.6 million people worldwide marching in the streets for their future.
Before joining Liverpool’s Youth Strike 4 Climate movement last year, I enjoyed everything about the environment and wildlife. I have taken part in conservation efforts and I was motivated to get involved in climate action through this love.
Seeing others recognise and fight for action in this emergency drives me to save what I love, and motivate others do the same.
I have seen changes to attitude locally with more people determined to do what they can individually to help save the planet. Some schools have stopped all plastic packaging in food halls and reduced the number of single-use plastic bottles that they sell. In my own family, we have made simple changes including switching to bamboo toothbrushes and shampoo bars, and mostly walking or using public transport to get around.
Youth Strike 4 Climate have got many ideas that we would like to see implemented across cities like Liverpool including: more recycle bins in city centres; fully segregated cycle lanes and stricter fines on fly-tipping; more water fountains in the city centre to fill up reusable water bottles and cheaper public transport.
However, talking to others about the climate emergency I have realised many do not want to change their old behaviour. We often deny problems because they do not feel like a direct threat and that it’s for other people to solve, that we’re already doing enough, or that the change is detrimental to us. We wonder what difference our contribution makes, if our neighbour, or even a neighbouring country, does nothing. But I do not know what other evidence is needed than millions striking, talking to leaders and inspiring each other to save our planet.
We continue to strike because declaring a climate emergency is not enough.
We’re at a critical point in human history. We require concerted, organised and mass action immediately. I know that my actions, as well as millions across the world inspired by Greta Thunberg, can and will change hearts and minds on our climate. We have to come together to solve this global issue not only as individuals, but as a planet.”