A 14-year-old has accused world leaders of “wasting” 150 weeks as he prepares for a milestone climate strike.
Finlay Pringle, from Ullapool, has been spending an hour every Friday for the past three years protesting for change alongside his younger sister, Ella.
He said he believes it is simply “the right thing to do” and hopes it will encourage politicians to start making more significant changes.
As he prepares for his 150th strike on Friday before heading to COP26, he admitted he does not have much hope it was result in change.
“I live in Ullapool in the very north of Scotland, right next to the sea,” he said. “I go snorkeling and swimming in that sea all the time, and when you’re actually in that water, you can see when things are changing.
“We’ve dragged plastic nets out the water, we’ve seen things moving on and we’ve seen it get warmer than it should.
“When you actually sit there and watch it all happen, it doesn’t feel like you’re doing something really ambitious, it just feels like you’re doing what’s right to protect the thing you love.”
No reason to celebrate
He added: “The fact I’m still going means that world leaders have wasted the last 150 weeks, when they could have been taking positive action to tackle the climate emergency.
“Indeed, if anything, they have gone backwards and continued with business as usual.
“Here in the UK they continue with the expensive and environmentally destructive HS2, prepare to open oilfields like Cambo, approve new coal mines and allow the building of space ports on rare, carbon rich peat bogs.
“All we seem to hear is ‘blah, blah, blah’, ‘build back better’, ‘levelling up’, ‘green economy’. Lots of words and slogans but sadly no action, just more empty promises.”
Finlay will be travelling south to Glasgow next week for COP26 which he says will be bigger than anything he has ever done, but is doubtful that it will lead to much change.
He said: “I’ll be listening to the talks I find of interest and I’ll be in the blue zone making sure the countries who say they’re doing environmental things, actually are doing environmental things.
“And if they’re not, I might have some slightly difficult questions for them.”
He believes community is an important part of fighting for climate change although he does often feel as though he is in it alone.
“When you go to these massive strikes with lots of other people, you realise that’s not the case, and it’s fantastic.”