A range of Scottish businesses, charities and other organisations have announced they will be participating in the Global Climate Strikes on Friday 20 September.
Organisations involved include ScottishPower, National Union of Students Scotland, Friends of the Earth Scotland, Children 1st and others. These protests could be the largest climate mobilisation in Scotland’s history with millions are expected to take part in events around the world.
There will also be climate strike activity in Shetland by campaigners but as yet nothing has been planned for Orkney.
These organisations across Scotland have decided to support the strikes in a number of ways including: closing their offices; allowing staff to use time normally allocated for volunteering to join or steward the strikes; organising workplace climate conversations; and allowing staff to attend the protests in work time.
The Climate Strikes are the latest in a wave of inspirational climate action being spearheaded by children and young people. They began in August 2018 when 15 year old Greta Thunberg sat in front of the Swedish parliament every school day for three weeks, to protest against the lack of action on the climate crisis.
In Scotland, major marches are planned in Edinburgh and Glasgow with more rallies in Aberdeen, Dundee, Inverness and Crieff, amongst other locations. People in 150 countries are expected to take part in these strikes where activities will range from protesting new fossil fuel infrastructure, raising awareness in their communities and pushing for solutions to the climate crisis.
Major energy supplier ScottishPower – who last year became the only integrated energy company to produce 100% renewable electricity – will be giving their staff the opportunity to support the march by stewarding the Glasgow event as a staff volunteering day.
Keith Anderson, ScottishPower CEO, said:
“The #FridaysforFuture movement has been incredibly influential in raising awareness of the climate emergency across the world. However, they can’t do this on their own, and nor should they. Responsibility for action does not fall on young people alone, we can all play an important role. ScottishPower is encouraging staff to use their annual volunteering time to help support the march by marshalling the route through Glasgow.
“As the UK’s first integrated energy utility to generate 100% of our power from renewables, we at ScottishPower are working hard to create a better future, quicker, by investing billions in generating more green electricity and building smart grids to help power the net zero future.”
Children 1st is supporting its staff to join the September 20th climate strike to raise awareness that the failure to address climate change is a fundamental breach of children’s rights.
Mary Glasgow, Children 1st‘s Chief Executive said,
“As Scotland’s National Children’s Charity we will be standing alongside children at climate protests around Scotland to amplify their cry for change and champion their most fundamental rights. Children have united across the world in an unprecedented movement to demand action on the climate crisis. It’s time governments at every level, as well as all of us as individuals, acted to uphold children’s rights to a clean, safe environment and to have their views listened to and respected.”
Campaigning organisations Friends of the Earth Scotland and Global Justice Now will be closing their offices on the day to participate in the protests.
Caroline Rance, Friends of the Earth Scotland Climate Campaigner commented,
“As a campaigning organisation, we understand the power of protest and recognise that people power is leading the way toward the climate solutions we need.
“Millions of school children across the world have been walking out of lessons every Friday to strike for climate action. The children are marching for their future. We’re proud to stand with them and urge everyone else who can to do the same.”