Each of the Ecolint campuses has seen a flurry of activity this week in the lead up to the first global school strike against climate change, or Fridays for Future, inspired by Swedish student activist Greta Thunberg. From the sale of reusable water bottles at La Grande Boissière and the organisation of school-wide awareness-raising protests at Campus des Nations and La Châtaigneraie, to marching alongside their peers from Genevan schools in the Swiss nation-wide demonstrations, Ecolint students have joined voices with millions from across the world in denouncing governments’ inaction towards climate change.
In a poignant speech to his fellow schoolmates, La Châtaigneraie Year 12 student Antoine Delarue encapsulated Ecolint students’ message to the world.
I would like to thank you all for coming out and showing your support for such an important cause.
The point of this climate change walkout, is to raise awareness and increase pressure on governments and society to do more to fight and reduce climate change.
I have gotten many questions about what we are doing here today. Why this climate strike will have any effect on governments? Why we are having a school walkout, that is authorized by the school, and being held on school campus? How will it increase pressure on governments to act? These are all legitimate questions, and I have legitimate answers.
The point of a school walkout, is to have an effect on the local and federal governments which run and operate the school. As a private international school, we have little effect on the local and federal governments. Therefore, walking out and striking against this school will not have a big impact on the Vaud and Swiss governments.
Our impact is much bigger than just this school, Vaud or even Switzerland. We are the oldest, largest and most diverse international school in the world. As students of Ecolint, we represent not only our 140 nations, and 80 languages, but we represent so much more. We are the international community, the global citizens, we are quite literally the children of the whole world. Because of this we are all in a unique position to impact not just local and federal governments, but the entire world.
Our protest and stand here today, is a sign to leaders and politicians from all over the globe, that the international students from the largest and most diverse school on this planet, are demanding change. We are demanding change against our current approach to dealing with climate change. We are demanding more pro-active control of our CO2 and other harmful gas emissions. We are demanding that the world takes this crisis more seriously, because it is our future and our world on the line.
So raise your posters, raise your hands, raise your voices, let your countries hear you when you demand they act in the best interest of this world. Demand that the world act in the best interest of our youth, our children, and in the best interest of this beautiful planet.
Because remember, despite what some politicians and leaders may be telling you, climate change is real. And if we don’t take considerable action against it now, it will be too late. And remember, there is no safety net, there is no coming back, there is no PLANET-B!