17 September 2019
Green councillors on Norwich City Council will join young people and workers across the world who will be taking part in the Global Climate Strike on Friday 20th September in Norwich, having had their request for the council to officially support the action refused at the last council meeting.
On 20th September, children from Norwich Youth Strike for Climate will lead demonstrations inspired by the 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg. This Friday’s demonstration is expected to be the largest yet as children walking out of school will be joined by unions and local organisations as part of an international day of climate action.
In July, 23-year-old Green Party councillor for Nelson Ward, Nannette Youssef, asked whether the council would support this upcoming week of climate strikes and action. In response, Councillor Maguire, Cabinet member for safe and sustainable city environment said that “gestures waste precious energy and consume time that should actually be devoted to achieving change.” (1)
Councillor Youssef is now joining the walk-out this week to make the point that action on climate change is not a waste of time. She said:
“It was very disappointing that in July the council refused to support the upcoming climate strikes when I asked them to do so. This refusal is just the latest in a series of actions which display the council's failure to take the Climate and Environment Emergency seriously enough.
"As young people, myself and those striking on 20th September are angry that those in power are not taking the radical steps necessary to combat climate change. The demands are clear and evidenced, such as calling for the UK to adopt a Green New Deal by investing in the jobs we need to move away from a fossil fuel economy.
"No one can deny how successful the school strikes have been and to dismiss them as a gesture is foolish. The movement is helping to make climate change a mainstream issue that that the older generations who traditionally still hold the reins of power can no longer ignore."
Young Green campaigner and city councillor for Mancroft Ward, Jamie Osborn, said, “For decades our governments have failed to take climate change seriously, and young people’s lives are now at stake. We don’t have time to continue business as usual, and that is why I am supporting the climate strikes to call for immediate action.”
Councillor Osborn pointed out the significance of the school strike rally taking place on the steps of City Hall, saying:
“We need the Government in Westminster to act, but Norwich City Council also needs to step up, particularly in regard to transforming our transport system and making sure that all developments and housing in Norwich are truly energy-efficient. We have to do everything we can if young people are to live securely in the coming years, and that needs all levels of government to go beyond their current inadequate actions.”
(1) Norwich City Council meeting minutes 23rd July 2019: https://cmis.norwich.gov.uk/live/Meetingscalendar/tabid/70/ctl/ViewMeetingPublic/mid/397/Meeting/675/Committee/2/Default.aspx
(2) For more information about the strikes: https://www.facebook.com/events/742524719500755/