Today’s blog comes from Bristol Youth Mayors Siena Jackson-Wolfe and Mohamed Aidid.
It is of the utmost importance that on an issue as complicated and prevalent as climate change we all work together to come up with tangible solutions.
The strikes across the world show a passion in people that is exciting and promising for our future. What we think is even more promising is the fact that this is ultimately led by the youth. The young people of the world, starting with Greta Thunberg, are standing up and voicing their opinions. Letting the world know what they want and making sure they’re heard. What is more it is working.The strikes nationally and globally have been instrumental in pushing the climate problem up on both local and national governments agenda.
However, it is now important to engage in a high-level debate and join in the dialogue with change makers to ensure that actions are being implemented. Bristol’s One City Plan has outlined Bristol’s aims in tackling this issue. When compared to Friends of the Earth list of actions that all local government should take, Bristol City Council is currently either doing or scoping all but three of them. In one case this failure to match is because the council has already got separate plans in place. For example Bristol is implementing alternative-fueled buses (50% of Bristol’s buses will be alternative fuel by 2028) opposed to Friends of the Earth’s call for electric buses.
The strike today is forecast to be the biggest one yet and this show of youth passion and enthusiasm for such a demanding issue is inspiring. However as with all causes there are still some issues.
We have the young and old coming together but now we also need to ensure a more diverse demographic is being reached to express their opinions on this issue to enable more young people to have a voice. Without this diversity the strikes fail to have the same impact in their demands as the calls aren’t necessarily representative of the entirety of Bristol’s young people.
In this strike today we both hope to see a wider spectrum of Bristol’s youth present because we cannot brush away the conversation around race and representation. We know that the youth climate strike group have been pushing for areas not before represented to be present and we hope this is obvious today.
Greta Thunberg has famously said, “I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act. I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if our house is on fire.”
The strikes are just the start of this action and now we need to make sure we are communicating with Bristol’s change makers to help make tangible change. Our voices are important but we need to follow through and be part of the solutions.