By Faye Murphy
On March 3rd, a global climate strike organised by Fridays for Future took place. The protest was organised in response to the continued financing of the fossil fuel industry. Despite the growing awareness of the dangers of climate change, many governments and corporations continue to invest in the extraction and burning of fossil fuels, contributing to rising temperatures, sea-level rise, and other devastating consequences.
Although organised by Fridays for Future, the strike was supported by various Trinity climate action groups, as well as Extinction Rebellion, Irish Doctors for the Environment and new group, the Student Climate Coalition. In their reasoning for protesting, Fridays for Future stated that the “fossil financing of global north governments enables Shell, TotalEnergies, Repsol, Perenco or Chevron to neo-colonial exploitation, wars and human rights violations.”
“the strike was supported by various Trinity climate action groups, as well as Extinction Rebellion, Irish Doctors for the Environment and new group, the Student Climate Coalition”
They continued, “investing in fossil fuel projects, not only is fully incompatible with the Paris Agreement and international law, but it is a criminal act with deadly consequences”, stating that “frontline communities” have been “paying for their [global north governments] greed since the onset of colonialism.”
In conversation with Evergreen, the newly formed climate action group, Time to Act TCD, began saying, “we’re attending to show our opposition to the continued success of the Fossil Fuel industry and the influence of Fossil Finance”. They carried on, stating that “one aim of the protest is to support the Fossil Fuel Non Proliferation Treaty which is something that we have campaigned on in the past so we’re keen to support it again”.
By attending the strike with the newly formed “Student Climate Crisis Coalition”, a coalition of organisations, unions and individuals from third-level institutions across Ireland, Time to Act TCD hoped to “provide a voice for students (and specifically trinity students) within the climate movement”. In response to this protest, Student Climate Crisis Coalition demanded that “Ireland legislate to prevent the construction of any new LSG terminals”.
When speaking to Trinity’s Environmental Society (EnviroSoc), they declared that they “want to see an end to the financing of fossil fuel companies”. They expressed their belief that “the current economic system is destroying our planet” and continued by noting “investments in fossil fuels are being used to fund oil and gas exploration, with the goal of continuing to burn fossil fuels and continuing to release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This has to stop.”
The society voiced “we want global temperature rises to stay under 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. The IPCC report has made it extremely clear that we only have a short period of time to ensure it does so”. In line with the demands of Fridays for Future, Envirosoc want “climate justice and equity”, adding “currently the countries with the lowest emissions are facing the worst effects of climate change, while the corporations who are responsible continue to make record profits”. They hoped to “support Fridays for Future and the Student Climate Crisis Coalition and to end fossil finance”.
“On a global scale, over 140 strikes were organised across Europe, approximately 80 in both North America and Africa, with 399 registered Fridays for Future strikes taking place worldwide”
Within Ireland, the protest was not only organised in Dublin, from the Garden of Remembrance to Leinster House, but smaller demonstrations took place in Galway and Cork. On a global scale, over 140 strikes were organised across Europe, approximately 80 in both North America and Africa, with 399 registered Fridays for Future strikes taking place worldwide. Fridays for Future called on everyone to “grassroots organise and act against fossil capitalism through the means of action suitable for them”, whether it be “from voting to civil disobedience”.