Making Dublin greener for the future generation

by Rachel Cunningham
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Rachel Cunningham

Young people in their hundreds turned up to Merrion Square on Friday, March 25, for the first global Fridays For Future climate strike in two years, due to the disruption of the pandemic.

Inspired by climate activist Greta Thunberg, the strike was part of the tenth round of worldwide student climate protests. It was a signal to politicians and those in leadership positions that the youth demand stronger, more urgent and more meaningful action when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and tackling climate change.

In advance of the march, which marked 172 weeks since Ms Thunberg first began her protest that garnered international attention when she was fifteen years old, she tweeted: “Tomorrow is the day! All over the planet people will strike, march and protest to demand world leaders to prioritise #PeopleNotProfit”.

Across the globe, students in Australia, Kenya, Brazil, Europe, the United States and more, boycotted school and gathered to raise their concerns about the perilous state of the world’s climate as one resounding voice. In Ireland, rallies took place in Cork, Galway and Belfast, in addition to Dublin.

Fridays for Future’s website states: “We strike because we have no choice”. Its three core demands include: keeping the global temperature rise below 1.5 °C compared to pre-industrial levels, ensuring climate justice and equity, listening to the best united science currently available. 

Former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, declared her support for the strike, stating: “The Elders fully appreciate the role that young people are playing in speaking truth to power and urging us to implement the steps necessary to secure a just and equitable world living within the ecosystems that sustain us”.

She cautioned that the “terrible war in Ukraine” is setting leaders back in tackling the climate crisis but stated that sufficient efforts weren’t being made even prior to the outbreak of this war.

Calling for the support of young and old, she continued: “It mustn’t be only young people who protest. This must be intergenerational, and I call in particular, on the grandparents of my generation, to join with young people because you want a safe future for your children and grandchildren.”

Kate Devitt, 15, who is involved in the Fridays for Future movement, responded to Ms Robinson’s support, saying: “To have the support of Ms Robinson is huge for us. Ms Robinson has shown a track record of standing for progressive values and calling for Climate Action in a fair and just way. We ask you all to join us on March 25th to demand immediate climate action.”

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