Scotland

Climate change protests in Scotland: 'It's up to us'

Thousands of people in town and cities across Scotland have joined the worldwide protests against climate change.

We asked people at six of the protests why they were there - and what they want to happen.

'Scotland can lead the way'

Alice MacPherson was among the protestors who gathered in the centre of Dundee on Friday morning.

She said many people in Scotland are already aware of the threat posed to the planet, and could play a role in "raising awareness, empowering young people and saying you have the power to change".

'Ban single-use plastic and fossil fuels'

Also joining the Dundee protest was Vicky Wylie and her daughters Eve, Iris and Isobel.

Vicky said: "Scotland is an amazing country of natural resources. Wind and solar power should be capitalised on much more.

"We should look at banning single-use plastics and also banning completely the use of fossil fuels.

"I think as well to empower people to stop using cars, increase things like public transport and also increase safe cycle ways, so that families and commuters can cycle safely to work in cities."

'The science is clear'

Lesley-Anne Pearson is a biologist at the University of Dundee - so it's no surprise she wants people to act over the scientific evidence on climate change.

She said: "I think it's important that we make clear that the science on climate change is settled. There is no debate. We know what's happening, we know what needs to happen and we need people to listen to us.

"And if we don't stand up for it, who else will?"

'Protect our amazing wildlife'

Dundee protestor Chris Charlton said: "One thing Scotland has going for it is the amount of natural land and the possibilities to use that, like ecotourism, going forward.

"If we can show off this amazing wildlife then hopefully we can use that as a push for climate change and a way to protect our nature and wildlife."

'My generation made a mess and my daughter will suffer'

Freya Bowes was at the Aberdeen protest with her 10-year-old daughter Brogan, who had a bee painted on one cheek and the word "kind" on the other.

Freya said: "I am here because my generation and the generation before me made a mess - my child and her children are going to suffer.

"We need to make a change now, we are not going to be quiet.

"I have always tried to do my best but that's not enough any more. I am proud of Aberdeen today."

Brogan, who was holding stuffed toy animals to show her love of wildlife, said: "I wanted to be here to help save the planet."

'Greta Thunberg is an inspiration'

Also at Marischal College for the Aberdeen protest was schoolgirl Petra Bodig, 16, who said: "A lot of people think teenagers do not have a voice - but Greta Thunberg has changed that. She's an inspiration.

"It's my future - but also the future of my children. Coming here will make a difference.

"I do not use plastic water bottles any more. I use metal water bottles. Just try to cut out plastic in general."

'We need to join together and work together'

Dumfries protest organiser Lizzie Parsons said it was important for people to change their own individual habits to reduce their environmental impact - but wider action is needed to make a real difference.

She said: "You can give up your car or eat less meat or become vegetarian and get political or join up with your community.

"It is too late for just individual action - we need to join up together and work together on this."

'I have a nice life without driving'

Colin James said he had been joined by people from all walks of life and of all ages at the Dumfries protest.

He said: "Transport is the one sector of the economy that contributes more than anything else to climate change. I don't drive at all - I have never learned to drive - and I still live a very pleasant life.

"You can just find things to do locally. I feel people have this real urge to just go and drive everywhere."

'Eating less meat is an easy change'

Mela Adela, a student from from Poland, was among the climate campaigners who gathered at Kelvingrove Park in Glasgow.

She said: "I'm not a big believer in recycling because I don't think we have enough resources to contain the waste we produce. However, eating less meat is an easy way to immediately reduce climate change."

'I'm taking a bus not a plane'

Sally Swadel and Linda McLaughlin said they went to the Glasgow protest because they were worried about the impact of climate change on future generations, and urged people to change their transport habits.

Linda, a writer and actress, said: "We could fly less. It's the most difficult thing but it's a big thing you can do. I'm going to Cornwall later this year and it looks like I'll be taking a bus - you have to make sacrifices."

'Get involved and play your part'

Climate change activist Neil MacPherson said he was at Kelvingrove to "help promote the cause" and called on people across the country to "get involved, join a campaign - just play your part".

'Stop the destruction of the Amazon'

Martha Spence, 16, from Fortrose, was at the Inverness protest after being inspired by teenage Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg.

Martha said: "I think she is incredible. She has made a whole generation of people more willing to stand up for ourselves and say we need to change something.

"Without her confidence and her influence I would have never been interested in climate change.

"I don't eat meat any more and I think even cutting down on meat once or twice a week would help the environment. Meat production is one of the main reasons for the destruction of the Amazon rainforest and rainforests worldwide."

'My brother asked me why I wasn't going to school today'

Iona Henderson, 17, also from Fortrose, said she wanted to see young people educated on climate change, starting from primary school.

She said: "My brother asked me this morning 'why are you striking, why are you not going to school?' and I explained to him I was striking for the climate and that I was worried about climate change."

'Big business isn't doing anything'

Lily Schiller Chat Wood, 13, joined more than 10,000 protestors in Edinburgh.

She said she had come because: "Our planet needs us to care. Big businesses and corporations aren't doing anything, so it's up to us."

'There is no hope unless we act'

Bruna Leitao, 12, also from Edinburgh, said she felt she had no choice but to join the protest in the city.

She said: "People say there is hope but there isn't unless you do something.

"The reality of picking up the water bottle won't do anything. It's big companies that need to stop ruining our planet."