More than 70 Islanders, including 40 schoolchildren, gathered outside County Hall on Friday to protest against climate change.
However, the Isle of Wight Council has said it will not declare a climate emergency.
Call for ‘climate justice’
Among the protestors were the school council from the Bay CE School, accompanied by their headteacher.
The group chanted:
“What do we want? Climate justice! When do we want it? Now!”
Mathilda (pictured above), 11, from Niton, said:
“I feel governments aren’t doing enough about climate change, and we need to unite as young people and do as much as we can.
“It’s our future too and we need to protect it. The older generations have helped a lot, and we need to finish what they started.”
Others declaring Climate Emergency
So far, 39 councils — including nine Tory administrations — have declared a climate emergency, including the Greater London Authority, Devon County Council and Edinburgh City Council.
Hobart: Lead the way without creating a panic
Cllr Hobart said the council had other priorities and was already involved in a number of initiatives to help the climate.
“We are working extremely hard within our budget. It’s up to us to lead the way without creating a panic amongst our children.”
However, Cllr Hobart said he preferred speaking to children in schools, rather than protesting, adding,
“They have some fantastic ideas of what we should do, I would rather be in the schools.”
Organised by Extinction Rebellion
A spokesperson for the Extinction Rebellion, Isle of Wight (XRIW) said:
“This was part of the second UK Youth Strike 4 Climate, which was inspired by Greta Thunberg and the Fridays For Future campaign.
“The action was facilitated by XRIW to give concerned youth on the Island an opportunity to be heard and express their concern in light of the climate emergency.
“The science is beyond doubt and the time for denial is over. It is time for government agencies to rise to the challenges ahead and listen to the will of the people.”
This article is from the BBC’s LDRS (Local Democracy Reporter Service) scheme, which OnTheWight is taking part in. Some alterations and additions may be been made by OnTheWight. Ed
Images: © Liz Cooke