The Malta Independent 19 March 2019, Tuesday

Watch - Updated (2): What do we want? Climate action; when do we want it? Now

Giulia Magri Friday, 15 March 2019, 13:14 Last update: about 3 days ago

Education Minister Evarist Bartolo practised what he preached today, joining University students and hundreds of others in a walk to raise awareness on climate change.

On Thursday, Bartolo said that students should in no way be punished for missing school or lectures in they took part in this activity – if anything, they should be supported.

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And this is what he did.

Students united to march and strike together to take action against climate change. Around the world thousands of students, youths and activists came together for change in climate action and to call on to authorities to do something before it is too late. 

Students, scout members, cyclists and environmental activists began gathering around University of Malta campus, blowing whistles and holding handmade banners ready to march for change. They then walked from the campus to Valletta, with the streets in the area blocked to traffic for at least one hour. 

The participants then gathered in front of Parliament to make noise and to cry out for change. The world temperatus today is 1 degree Celsius warmer than preindustrial levels, and numerous reports have warned about the risks and damage additional warming would have on the planet and biosphere.

Malta is currently ranked as one of the five countries in the EU which has made the least progress when it comes to climate change and many other European countries know they must pull their weight when it comes to taking action against the harm of climate change. 

The youngest speaker, Samwel Attard called out to the crowd and asked why children his age can no longer go out and play in fields and more flats are being built. 'Why can I not ride my bicycle and why is the sea full of plastic bottles? I wish you would listen to me'.

“The time to talk was yesterday, the time to act is now”, said Sean Ellul, President of Kunsill Nazzjonali Taz-Zaghzagh. He invited students and youths to join and make a difference as KNZ take the initiative to draft a policy paper with proposals to be implemented on a national level to combat the effects of climate change. He said that as a generation, young people refuse to be bystanders in the face of a global crisis and what could be humanity threat. “No matter what country you come from climate change is out to get you and if we do not act today climate change will be out to get you, irrelative of who you are or where you are from.”

We are young and our voice is loud and passionate, said Elsa Cassar, a member of the National Youths of Scouts Council of Malta. “Our young Beaver members are planting trees and asking us why the field they used to play in is becoming a block of apartments. Our cubs are ordering drinks without straws and are asking why straws are still being offered?” She said if we do not stop damaging and harming the planet, there will be nothing left for future generations.

Time to take a stand and these youths are making a global appeal for everyone to stand up, be counted and to take action against the harms of climate change before it is too late.

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