“We are facing an unprecedented global emergency. The government has failed to protect us. To survive, it’s going to take everything we’ve got.” These are the words of Extinction Rebellion, an organisation fighting with unbelievable determination to stop climate breakdown and prevent the extinction of mankind. And if you think they are being overdramatic, think again.

According to the UN’s IPCC report, we only have 12 years to limit climate catastrophe. This means enormous changes to how we live and how we function as a society; it also means that more people than ever before need to come together and demand that our government takes responsibility for what is happening to lead us towards a sustainable future. This is why Extinction Rebellion formed, and so far they have brought people together to fight for climate justice at a number of different events.

As well as this, young people have been getting involved to have a say in their futures, with the most noticeable instance of this being the Youth Strike 4 Climate on both the 15th of February and the 15th of March. Thousands of teenagers and even younger children took a day off school and instead took to the streets, marching from Parliament Square all around London, in solidarity with the inspiring Greta Thunberg, who had been striking every Friday for months beforehand. Several students from Newstead Wood School took part, including Emma Braddock, who told me that “it has never been more important that we act in order to protect our futures, and those of our children.”

Emma has also been involved in a recent action on Thursday 28th March with another group of students from Newstead Wood. Called ‘Sound the Alarm’, it was coordinated by Extinction Rebellion Youth to alert schools and universities on the danger of climate change and what they should be doing to help. It involved the students setting off a panic alarm in the lunch hall and then proceeding to play a series of powerful videos, while handing out flyers to teachers and students outlining their main demands. These included making climate change a key part of the curriculum and giving full support to students participating in strikes.

It was amazing to see my peers so determined to make a difference and I sincerely hope the school answers their demands. We can no longer sit back, complacent, while our futures are destroyed- if we want to save our planet, we need to act now.