Hundreds of students and environmental campaigners march through Sheffield in climate change protest
Scores of students and adults alike marched on Sheffield city in a protest against climate change.
The peaceful protest saw hundreds of people walk from Devonshire Green to Barker's Pool, and followed the first ever leaders’ debate on the subject of climate change that was hosted by Channel 4 on Thursday night.
Many of those in attendance at the protest said they were disappointed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage’s reported refusal to attend.
Channel 4 refused to allow Michael Gove to attend instead of Mr Johnson and used melting ice sculptures in place of the two party leaders, a decision that has led to the Conservative Party reporting the broadcaster to Ofcom.
Commenting on the debate, teacher, Lucy Kitto said: “It was diabolical and disappointing but also predictable.”
University student Harriot Clarke aged 21 added: “I think it’s disgusting that when there is so much proof being put out there by academics and scholars about a climate emergency happening, when the EU has declared that a climate emergency has happened, to not turn up to a debate to what might be the biggest issue of our current times from the party currently in power is disgusting. Especially with an election coming up.”
Another student, Adam, 20 years old said: “I think it’s shocking that the Prime Minister didn’t show up at the climate debate - it’s at the forefront of the issues of today. As a Prime Minister you should be representing the views of people and the population in general.
“Clearly it’s a huge issue as you can see everyone here,” Adam added.
Many students said they were amused at the decision to replace Mr Johnson and Mr Farage with a melting block of ice.
“It’s reflective of us, if we sit down and do nothing the world is going to melt and it’s going to be a disaster. It was inappropriate and Boris Johnson’s actions were unacceptable,” Adam added.
Protesters said climate change and environmental issues were important to this generation of students, adding Boris Johnson’s reluctance to take part in debating these issues may not be well received with new voters.