Listen to young people on climate change

Adults must listen to young people’s concerns about climate change and try and understand why they are profoundly worried about the future, a Church of Scotland minister has said.

Rev Dr Richard Frazer, convener of the Church and Society Council, said listening and learning would help leaders respond more effectively to the climate emergency that is tightening its grip on the world.

He spoke out ahead of a series of school strike events planned in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee, Inverness, Crieff and other places today (Friday).

Dr Frazer said:

“Climate change will change the lives of children growing up today and they will experience profoundly the impact in decades to come.

“It now casts a long shadow over their lives and they have responded to the inspiring example of the Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg and want to be heard.

“We are mindful of the many arguments for and against schoolchildren ‘striking’ and appreciate the strong feelings this evokes.

“Rather than taking a stand for or against climate strikes, we urge churches and congregations to listen to children in their communities.

“Churches can provide a safe space in which to listen to their concerns and aspirations.

“By listening we can learn and understand better and this will in turn will help us respond more effectively to the climate emergency.”