Environment

Children in Belfast climate change protest warn time is running out

Archie and Bea Agnew joins the protest outside City Hall. Picture by Matt Bohill 
David Young, Press Association

A passionate crowd of schoolchildren have demonstrated in Belfast to demand action on climate change.

The small but vocal gathering of primary and secondary pupils made their voices heard as they held aloft home-made signs and chanted outside City Hall.

The environmental protest was one of a series of co-ordinated events around the UK as young people left their classrooms to make their point on global warming.

Maia Willis-Reddick, a 17-year-old student at Belfast's Methodist College, said time for action is running out.

Students from Belfast's Methodist College join the protest outside City Hall. Picture by Matt Bohill 

"We are protesting against the government for their ignorance of the problem of climate change," she said.

"We have 12 years before this becomes an international disaster, and before those 12 years we need drastic action to take place in order to reduce carbon emissions for the entirety of the UK, the entirety of the world."

Maia said her school had been supportive of her and her classmates' desire to protest.

"Us leaving school means we show we value the climate the same as we value our education," she said.

"We are still very conscious about school. I have A-levels, I have stuff to do, we just want to make the point that we are willing to take drastic action in order to highlight the problems of climate change."

The protesters called for action over climate changel. Picture by Matt Bohill 

Megan Hoyt, from north Belfast, accompanied her four children - Finn, Penny, Aisling and Isabelle - to the protest at City Hall.

She said: "We are here today because we think it's time for political action.

"Personal responsibility can only take us so far. We've got our reusable coffee cups, and we've got our paper straws, and we are vegetarians and all those kind of things, but personal responsibility can only take us so far and now is the time for political leadership.

Read More: A quick guide on eating for the good of our planet

"People are angry and we are ready for something and it could be such a great moment for a new kind of politics.

"We are here to show there are people who want a change."

Rachel Agnew, from Broughshane, Co Antrim, attended with son Archie (8), and daughter Bea (5), who are both pupils at Broughshane Primary School.

She said: "We have come along because I would like a future for my children, a future where we have clean energy resources.

"We want planet earth to be here and we want a future, that's what's important."

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