Opening Speech, Global Climate Strike 29/11/19

Hello, my name is Anna Kernahan and I am a climate activist with the Northern Ireland students’ Climate Network. Thank you all for coming today and for helping us show Belfast we mean business. 

At our last Global Climate Strike, it was decided that a climate emergency would be debated and two weeks later in was declared. That was a brilliant step in the right direction, but it was basically just words and a promise, just to get us to go back to school. However, until actions are taken directly based off the best available science, we will not stop. We need a Green New Deal. We need votes at 16. We need a government. We need change and we need that change to come yesterday. We got a climate emergency declared by protesting and we can get Northern Ireland to be carbon neutral by 2030 by acting too. 

The Earth has survived five mass extinctions, we aren’t going to kill it. We are the ones who are endangered. Except we are bringing entire ecosystems down with us. As young people cannot vote, we feel powerless to stop this mass extinction, but striking gives us that power back. This is us regaining our right to a voice. We deserve to be listened to. It’s our future and we are unstoppable.  Don’t you politicians dare mess it up for us. 

NISCN have four main demands, to teach the future, empower the future, tell the future and save the future. 

We are incredibly grateful for every single one of you for coming down to the strike today. Together we symbolise action. Together we symbolise the change that is coming.

Although the climate crisis is very frightening, these strikes fill us with hope. We can have fun fighting for our future and we can enjoy the atmosphere and community spirit while saving the world. 

I know our situation is dire, but I have 100% faith in the youth strike for climate movement that we will solve this crisis. We just need to unite behind the science together. Are you with me?

What do we want? When do we want it?

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