Joining a global student strike against government inaction on climate change, pupils demonstrated outside the House of Representatives on Friday.
The marches are part of a worldwide student strike movement, which started in August 2018 when 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg began protesting outside her parliament on school days. Norwegian lawmakers have nominated her for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Carrying banners reading “wake up” and “you are building villas to live well but are killing the seals,” the pupils said they wanted to show Cypriot MPs that climate change is currently one of the most crucial issues and that urgent action was needed to combat it.
In an announcement, they said the government should adopt policies to ensure a reduction in carbon emissions so as to curb global warming.
The government should dedicate the necessary resources in pursuit of these targets, they said.
Climate change should figure more prominently on the school curriculum at all levels, they added while more action should be taken by the government and other decision-making bodies to combat plastic pollution.
Action to combat climate change should be carried out based on the principles of social justice.
“We are a group of young people who independently of their political views are demonstrating to protect the environment,” they added.
Scientists say the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, releases greenhouse gases that trap heat and lift global temperatures, causing more floods, droughts, heatwaves and rising sea levels.
At the 2015 Paris climate conference, countries pledged to work to limit the rise to 2 degrees Celsius (35 Fahrenheit), a step that will require a radical reduction in the use of coal and fossil fuels.
(Photos by Stefanos Kouratzis)