Swindon & Wiltshire Business News

BREAKING: Energy firm hands over control of Twitter account to students

Image courtesy of David TongA Chippenham-based renewable energy firm has handed over control of its Twitter account to students striking from school in protest at government inactivity over climate change.

Good Energy has 38,000 followers, and hopes the voices of young people will be amplified on a day which will see thousands of school-age children across the UK exclude themselves from lessons.

Juliet Davenport, Good Energy’s CEO and Founder: “Government says absence outside school holidays should only be granted in exceptional circumstances.

"Well, these are exceptional circumstances. The planet we live on, their future, is in peril. We should encourage them to take ownership and make a difference.

"Twenty years ago I set up a company to tackle climate change. But despite two decades of dedication, the advocacy of Greta Thunberg and the wider youth climate strike movements have made it clear that I still have things left to learn.

"Those of us who are veterans or experts in tackling climate change should not only be taking note, we should be ceding the stage.

"Because young people are taking ownership and getting traction where older generations have not. They can have a straightforward approach that is admirable.

"We should be encouraged by and actively encouraging the strikes. They are necessary. They are exciting.

"Their movement is so effective because their message is so clear and the tactic so simple.

"This is the generation that will be most affected by climate change. Disrupting the status quo of the school day hits that message home."

The Climate Strike movement has grown rapidly from August 2018 when Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg decided to not attend school until the 2018 Sweden general election on 9 September after heat waves and wildfires in Sweden.

In November 2018, she spoke at TEDxStockholm, in December she addressed the United Nations Climate Change Conference, and in January 2019 she was invited to talk to the World Economic Forum at Davos. Her Skolstrejk för Klimatet has inspired children around the world.

While many UK politicians have been quick to condemn the actions of the young people, others – notably Claire Perry, Devizes constituency MP and minister for clean energy – said she was "incredibly proud" of young people's passion and concern.

She told the BBC: "I suspect if this was happening 40 years ago, I would be out there too."

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said schoolchildren were "right to feel let down by the generation before them", while Green Party MP Caroline Lucas said it was the "most hopeful thing that's happened in years."