Thousands of school kids gather in Amsterdam to protest for better climate policy

School kids marching through The Hague for more action against climate change, 7 Feb 2019
School kids marching through The Hague for more action against climate change, 7 Feb 2019Photo: Politie Den Haag / Twitter

Thousands of school pupils gathered in Amsterdam on Thursday afternoon to protest for a better climate policy. They marched from Dam Square to the Museumplein, carrying signs with texts like ‘Make the earth cool again’. According to the police, around 6 thousand people were present, NOS reports.

The turnout was lower than for the first march in The Hague in February, when around 10 thousand pupils participated.

On Wednesday the Netherlands’ environmental assessment agency PBL and central planning office CPB published their calculations of the government’s climate agreement. They concluded that the plans in the agreement will likely not achieve the government’s goal of a 48.7 megatons reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030, compared to 1990. The government adjusted its plans, announcing a CO2 tax on companies, among other things.

The pupils are not reassured that the changed plans will work. “It is important that we have a good future, that the earth does not get warmer”, one pupil said to NOS.

Another pupil pointed out that Prime Minister Mark Rutte did not say how high the CO2 tax on companies will be. “It is important that it is high enough. We’re protesting for that.” Her friend added: “No one is working hard on it now. At some point we’ll look back and see that we did too little. That’s why we have to take action now, it’s in our hands now.”

Many pupils told the broadcaster that they received permission from their schools to attend the demonstration. Some had to write an argument- or motivation letter for why they are attending, others had to take a photo from Dam Square to show that they were there.

The pupils will again march on May 24th, during an European action day.

On Sunday another climate protest brought around 40 thousand people to Amsterdam

Pupils in Belgium will protest for the climate on Friday. According to NOS, some Belgian schools oblige their pupils to attend the march, counting it as an extracurricular activity.