17th Sep, 2019

Solihull schoolgirl at the vanguard of region's climate fight

Felix Nobes 10th Sep, 2019 Updated: 10th Sep, 2019

SOLIHULL’s answer to activist Greta Thunberg has called on residents and young people to join her in Birmingham for the biggest ever global climate strike.

Prodigious Scarlett Westbrook, aged 15, is a chief UK Student Climate Network (SCN) organiser from Solihull.

She was heavily involved in hosting a public assembly of students in Birmingham on Saturday (September 7), to promote a ‘Green New Deal’ to tackle the climate crisis.

Miss Westbrook says she is ‘extremely active’ and contacts unions to attend strikes, meets with MPs, and arranges venues for meetings.

And now she is calling on fellow Silhillians of all ages to join the global strikes in Birmingham at Victoria Square, outside the council houses on September 20, from 11am to 3pm.

She says iconic Swedish climate campaiger Greta Thunberg, 16, is a role model and inspires her to continue campaigning.

Ms Thunberg has become the symbol for the ‘Fridays for Future’ school climate strikes and has since become a worldwide phenomenon.

Ms Westbrook says, when she was 13 years old, she became the youngest person in the world to complete her A-level in Government and Politics. And this was how she first became aware of government’s’ ‘climate inaction’.

She told us: “Over the last seven months, you have seen us strike, you have heard our pleas, you have seen the evidence and now it is the time to turn this passive engagement into action before it is too late.

“On September 20, we’re calling on adults to join us in striking for our planet, because climate change doesn’t discriminate.

“I think that more West Midlands councils, particularly our council of Solihull, should follow in both Birmingham and the UK’s footsteps by declaring a climate emergency.

“The climate crisis is worsening in severity every day, so it is vital that we put in place preventative measures immediately.

“We need our councils to call for a transformative Green New Deal.

“Firstly, it would entail a 10-year government-led mobilisation, rapidly phasing out fossil fuels in order to reach net-zero carbon emissions.

“Secondly, it would solve the enormous inequality problem we are facing in the UK and ensure that we have stable, secure and well-paying jobs for all workers.

“Solihull, especially, has been affected by mass redundancies over the past year due to Brexit which shows that we simply need more job stability.”

She says UKSCN has been surveying Birmingham and Solihull residents and has uncovered public support for student strikers and a Green New Deal.

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