Cumbrians took part in global climate strikes on Friday 20 September, joining with people from around the world calling for urgent action on climate change.

Rallies were held in Carlisle, Penrith, Ulverston, Kendal, Keswick, and Cockermouth.

Cumbrian businesses and organisations supported the strikes in large numbers. Ellergreen Hydro, RSPB and 2030 Architects were among those giving staff time off to support and speak at the strikes.

“Young people’s future is in our hands,” said Tracey Hart, associate director at 2030 architects in Penrith, and a trustee of CAfS. “What we do today will shape their tomorrow. We believe architects have a responsibility to make it a regenerative, living future and that every act of design or construction should make the world a better place.”

RSPB campaigns officer Natasha Yorke-Edgell added:

“It is time for politicians to decide whether we will be the ones who hand the next generation a planet scarred by the climate crisis. Nature doesn’t belong in a museum. But over 50 per cent of UK species are already struggling and climate change poses a catastrophic threat to wildlife. Young people all over the world have taken the lead, demanding urgent action. We are proud RSPB staff members and volunteers will support them in strike action. Our leaders must act immediately to avert climate disaster and mass extinction. The future of their children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews depend upon it.”

Hazel Graham, chief executive of CAfS, spoke at the Carlisle rally. (Watch the video of her speech – you’ll find the link on this page.)

“We are living through a unique moment in history where, as understanding of the scale of the climate emergency grows, so does fear and anger and demand for real, meaningful action,” Hazel said. “At CAfS, our vision is a zero carbon Cumbria, a county with a better way of life in balance with the environment. This means warm homes that everyone can afford to heat, affordable transport that everyone can afford to use, improved health and the creation of thousands of climate jobs.

“Young people have shown extreme courage in standing up for their beliefs, striking from school and demonstrating. And they are absolutely right when they say that we already have the solutions that we need to rapidly reduce emissions. We must listen to their voices.”