Fort William teenage climate activist at Westminster talks

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Fort William climate activist and Lochaber Times columnist, Holly Gillibrand, teamed up with Swedish teenage environmental campaigner Greta Thunberg, 16, at Westminster yesterday (Tuesday) to plead with national politicians to tackle the climate change more seriously.

Lochaber MP and SNP Westminster leader, Ian Blackford, joined fellow political leaders Jeremy Corbyn and Vince Cable, among others, to meet with the young climate change campaigners to discuss how to respond to the climate crisis.

Ms Thunberg has already been nominated for the Nobel peace prize after triggering worldwide environmental protests with her series of school climate strikes in Sweden.

Ms Gillibrand, who attended the parliamentary roundtable, was hailed by Mr Blackford for her ‘exemplary’ efforts in the fight against the climate crisis.

Ms Gillibrand has been striking from classes at Lochaber High School in Fort William every Friday morning since January in an effort to focus more attention on the climate change emergency.

At the Westminster meeting, Mr Blackford set out Scotland’s ambitious approach to tackling climate change and urged the UK and other European countries to follow in Scotland’s footsteps.

Commenting ahead of the meeting, Mr Blackford said: ‘I met with two incredible young women, Greta Thunberg and also Holly Gillibrand, who is from Fort William in my constituency.

Ross, Skye and Lochaber MP Ian Blackford met Holly Gillibrand at Westminster on Tuesday. NO F17 Holly Greta 02
Ross, Skye and Lochaber MP Ian Blackford met Holly Gillibrand at Westminster on Tuesday.
NO F17 Holly Greta 02

‘Holly and Greta’s efforts in encouraging more action on climate change across the globe have been exemplary. Along with countless other young people they are leading the way in the fight against climate change.

‘Holly and Greta’s efforts in encouraging more action on climate change across the globe have been exemplary and I really enjoyed meeting with them both.

‘Leaders of all countries, including in the UK, must listen to the voice of the next generation – it is their planet to inherit, after all – and play their part in tackling the climate crisis.

‘It is a global issue that needs collective action internationally to succeed. Scotland has long been a leader in the fight against climate change.

‘We will continue to play our part and urge other countries to do the same.’