Over 10,000 students participated in the Youth for Climate Luxembourg march on 15 March 2019
Photo: Nader Ghavami
The Luxembourg government’s response to the 15 March student protest against climate changed has been dismissed as “a meaningless hush”.
On Thursday the government announced plans to “deepen the dialogue with young people on climate change”, through regional exchanges.
“It is only a meaningless hush as long as the levels of greenhouse gas emissions keep rising,” Zélie Guisset, a Youth for Climate march organiser, told Delano, adding: “I do not feel we are being taken seriously if the government’s only response is to organise these sessions. Because in the meantime not much else is being done to make our future livable. It is good that the government listens to the youth, but we have already spoken. Now it is time to act.”
The announcement comes after over 10,000 young people, inspired by the efforts of Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, skipped school and marched from the Glacis to Place Guillaume II, demanding concrete political action to combat global warming.
After the march, a delegation from Youth for Climate Luxembourg met with prime minister Xavier Bettel. In a press release, the government outlined a programme of that workshops focusing on sustainable schools, climate protection in mobility, construction, energy and waste, and sustainable production and consumption. The workshops would be held with education minister Claude Meisch, environment minister Carole Dieschbourg and agriculture minister Romain Schneider.
According to the government press statement, the results of these exchanges will be fed into the government’s integrated national energy and climate plan, which is to be finalised by the end of 2019.
But, Guisset said the movement would rather see the government meeting with expert scientists to “work out concrete solutions” for the “existential catastrophe” that is climate change.
“Discussions aiming to raise awareness among students are good but will only be impactful if paired with change in the structure and functioning of society. Decades of small individual actions have not been enough, it’s now time for the government to offer us an alternative,” she said.
The five thematic exchanges with students will take place as follows:
Wednesday 8 May 2019 from 2pm-5pm at the Geesseknäppchen Forum in Luxembourg;
Friday, May 10, 2019 from 2pm-5pm at Al Seeërei in Diekirch;
Monday 13 May 2019 from 2pm-5pm at the Forum Geesseknäppchen in Luxembourg (for European and international public and private education classes; with Minister Claude Turmes to replace Minister Carole Dieschbourg);
Wednesday 15 May 2019 from 2pm-5pm at Maacher Lycée in Grevenmacher;
Friday 17 May 2019 from 2pm-5pm at the Lycée Nic-Biever in Dudelange.
Students can register to participate individually until 3 May by completing an online form. The absence of students who will participate in the exchanges will be excused by schools. Parental authorisation must be provided by underage students.
The next Youth For Climate march has been scheduled for 24 May.