We, Youth Climate Association Northern Ireland, have five demands:
We demand that climate education is brought into the national curriculum. All young people must be taught the urgency, severity, and scientific basis of climate change and leave school with a strong understanding of the climate crisis. The general public must be made aware of the drastic consequences of the climate crisis to both the environment and to society, and the need to take immediate action must be made clear.
We demand that the Stormont Assembly and local councils treat the climate crisis with the urgency it requires, and that a climate act tailored to Northern Ireland, that protects workers’ rights and actively combats the climate crisis, is passed into law.
We demand that the youth have a seat at the table when it comes to policy-making that will affect our future and that a new and legitimate Youth Assembly should be established in Northern Ireland. The ideas, opinions, and conclusions that this assembly produces must be heard by the NI Executive and Assembly. People from non-grammar schools, underrepresented backgrounds and rural areas should be encouraged to run for this youth assembly, and ensure that fair representation is present.
We demand more adequate laws that protect our nation’s biodiversity and areas of outstanding natural beauty, especially during this time of biodiversity crisis, which is exacerbated by the climate crisis that our organisation is encouraging immediate and necessary action against. We oppose destructive projects that are harmful to our environment and call on the government to ban them. We demand that the government stops prioritising short term and unsustainable economic growth over protecting our environment and biodiversity.
We demand that those most affected by the climate crisis in Northern Ireland are protected and acknowledge that the climate crisis will exacerbate existing social inequalities. The government should work to combat these aggravated social inequalities. We want the corporations and industries that have harmed communities in the past to be held accountable by the government for these actions and for the government to prevent these harmful activities in the future.