This is the full text of the speech made by nine-year-old Louis de Chazal at the students’ climate-change strike in Newbury on Friday 19 July 2019.
Last October the UN issued a report warning us that we have just 12 years to slow climate change enough to ensure the long-term survival of the human race. That was almost a year ago. We now have just over 11 years. So my message today is to the people in charge – to the MPs, the councillors and the policy makers:
What are you doing about it?
And why aren’t you getting on with it?
We are still here…. asking you to listen. We still trust you to take action. We are all trying to reduce our carbon footprint by doing things like eating less meat, recycling, using less stuff, driving less, buying renewable electricity, trying to go plastic free…. but we need BIGGER changes at the national and international level if we are to make a difference. Other countries are taking action. Why are you still arguing and discussing? You have declared a climate emergency but I only hear words, I see no action from you.
My mum told me about a man called Al Gore who wrote a film called ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ 13 years ago. In fact she says that we have known about climate change and the effects it is having for years; leaders have been advised and asked to take action for over 30 years now.
Well, we can’t waste another 30 years. We haven’t got another 30 years. You can’t go on just making small changes and claiming you are doing everything you can when actually you are not doing everything you can. I do thank you for the little things you have done but now you must accept that what you are doing is not enough. I don’t want to hear ‘this is what we plan to do…’ I want to SEE that you are doing something. You must accept that you cannot discuss and deliberate anymore, you must act. You must think outside the box. If people can’t afford to insulate their homes or swap their heating system then you must provide grants. If people are not buying electric cars because they are worried about chargers then you must put in more chargers. If people can’t find a shop that is plastic free then you must find a way to make the shops become plastic free…
I am sorry if I am part of an ‘inconvenient’ truth but the truth it is. And what is more important than billions of lives? Money? Popularity? Brexit? Life and sustainability is always more important and I think most of you have lost sight of that. I trust you now to stop dithering, to stop arguing and to make the policies and the changes needed to save our future. Please don’t let me and my generation down. I trust you, and I will keep reminding you of the trust placed in you. I will be terribly inconvenient because
- I don’t want millions of people to die of starvation or heat exhaustion on my watch.
- I don’t want to witness a mass extinction on my watch.
- I don’t want to see lives taken by forest fires, raging storms and flooding on my watch.
- I don’t want us to still be arguing as the last hectare of permafrost melts…
I want to tell my grand children how you leaders finally took a stand and literally saved the planet and the human race. I want you to help us and I trust you to use your power and influence to do so.
We can fix this, if you will listen and act. Now.
This is the full text of the speech made by nine-year-old Louis de Chazal at the students’ climate-change strike in Newbury on Friday 12 April 2019.
Louis, and his father Christopher, were also guests on 4 Legs Radio on 19 April 2019. Click here to listen to the programme (their bit starts at 15′ 40″).
Once upon a time there was a planet. Lots of beautiful animals and plants lived there, along with humans.
The humans were very clever and soon learnt how to use all of the planet’s resources to make their lives longer and nicer.
At first, there was plenty to go around but then the humans started to use too much. They were changing the planet. It started to get hotter and become full of rubbish and pollution. Lots of the animals and plants were disappearing, forever.
For many years, the humans didn’t think about the consequences of what they were doing and carried on building, burning, cutting down trees and filling the planet with their rubbish. Some people started to realise that this needed to stop and they asked the others to stop burning fuels and throwing their rubbish in to the sea but very few people listened. The climate and weather changed, less food could be grown, the water became full of plastic and more and more living things went extinct. More people started to notice.
Then came the children (and young adults) of 2018-19.
They asked the grown-ups and the leaders to help save their future.
But a lot of the powerful grown-ups were too busy making lots of money or (as Greta Thunberg says) too busy trying to be popular.
So now WE must shout LOUDER! And help them listen. We know that we have the technology to fix this. We still have the time and we have the power. We just need the leaders.
We must listen to the expert climate scientists. They have years and years of research and experience.The politicians must listen to them and ACT.
There are lots of things that we need them to do, including:
• Greatly increase our energy generation from renewable and sustainable sources like wind and solar power – the government needs to increase funding for renewables not take it away! ACT on renewables.
• We must ban fracking – it’s basically just a really stupid idea! ACT on fossil fuels.
• We must stop allowing new diesel and petrol cars and dramatically increase the roll-out of electric vehicles – Scotland has pledged that all new cars will be electric by 2032, Norway by 2025 and Costa Rica by 2021. If they can do it, so can we. Our target is 2040, WHICH IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH!! ACT on electric cars.
• We must reduce waste from plastic by introducing a UK-wide deposit return scheme for drinks containers of all materials and sizes and ban problem plastics. ACT on waste of all kind and ACT on recycling.
• We must help restore nature in our countryside and set up a sustainable, local food system. ACT on saving our soil and insects to be able to feed us all sustainably.
So, how will the story continue?
We are all going to help make them listen. I know we can do this, we just need to make sure that it is in time.
We can fix this, if they will listen and ACT, NOW.