02.13.2019

Environmental Youth Activist Anna Taylor

Students around the world are striking as they demand action and progress on climate change. Christiane Amanpour sits down with student activist leading the charge in the UK, Anna Taylor.

Read Transcript EXPAND

AS A 17-YEAR-OLD, WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN FEELING, THINKING, AS YOU LOOK AT WHAT THE POLITICIANS ARE DOING OR NOT DOING, YOUR PARENTS OR GRANDPARENTS GENERATION?

SO FAR I FELT LET DOWN.

I FEEL BETRAYED BY THE GOVERNMENT, AND PAST GOVERNMENTS AND THE PRESENT GOVERNMENT.

I FEEL LIKE THEY HAVEN'T RECOGNIZED THE SEVERITY OF THE CRISIS ENOUGH.

AND I THINK A LOT OF YOUNG PEOPLE MY AGE ARE STARTING TO GET ANGRY ABOUT THAT.

AND WE DON'T WANT TO CAUSE WE DON'T WANT TO JUST WALK OUT OF SCHOOL BECAUSE WE'RE PLAYING TRUANT.WE FEEL THIS IS THE ONLYO MAKE OUR VOICES HEARD AND I WOULD REALLY LIKE TO SEE A FUTURE WHERE THE GOVERNMENT DO LISTEN TO US.

WHAT ARE YOUR IMMEDIATE ARE THERE ANY?

DO YOU HAVE A PLATFORM?

ARE YOU GOING TO PARLIAMENT TO ASK FOR A LIST OF THINGS OR IS IT JUST TO SHOW PRESENCE?

WE'VE CREATED FOUR DEMANDS.

SO THE FIRST ONE IS THE GOVERNMENT DECLARE A STATE OF CLIMATE EMERGENCY.

AND TAKE ACTIVE STEPS TOWARD ACHIEVING CLIMATE JUSTICE.

THE SECOND ONE IS TO REFORM THE NATIONAL CURRICULUM, SO THAT IS ACCURATELY PORTRAYS THE SEVERITY OF THE CRISIS.

THE THIRD ONE IS TO HONESTLY COMMUNICATE TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC THE SEVERITY OF THE CRISIS.

AND THE FOURTH ONE IS TO INCORPORATE POLICY MAKES AND BRINGING THE VOTING AGE DOWN TO 16.

AND 16 BECAUSE?

16 BECAUSE BY THE AGE OF 16 WE ARE ABLE TO MAKE AN INFORMED DECISION AND AT THE MOMENT I THINK 18 IS TOO OLD CONSIDERING THAT THIS IS OUR FUTURE AND THE REASON WE'RE HAVING TO STRIKE IS BECAUSE WE HAVE NO OTHER WAY OF EXPRESSING OUR OPINIONS.

SO YOU TALKED ABOUT HOW IT NEEDS TO BE TAUGHT TRUTHFULLY IN SCHOOL AND IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN.

WHERE DOES THAT COME FROM?

IN OTHER WORDS, HOW HAVE YOU SORT OF NOTICED THE DEBATE SO FAR?

I'M AN A-LEVEL STUDENT SO I'M NOTED IN MY TEXTBOOKS THAT THE LIMITED AMOUNT OF TEXT ON CLIMATE CHANGE IS COMPLETELY MINIMIZED COMPARED TO THE SEVERITY OF THE CRISIS AS EXPRESSED IN ITCC REPORTS AND OTHER REPORTS.

THE U.N. REPORTS.

YEAH, THE U.N. REPORTS.

AND ALSO TALKING TO STUDENTS IN GERMANY AND SCANDINAVIA.

THEIR EDUCATION IS DIFFERENT TO OURS AND THEY ARE MUCH MORE AWARE AND IN THE U.K. THERE IS A LACK OF AWARENESS AND COMMUNICATION ON BEHALF OF THE

AND WHEN YOU SEE THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PRESIDENT TRUMP WANTS TO PULL OUT OR THE U.S. OUT OF THE CLIMATE DEAL, YOU KNOW THERE ARE DENIERS AROUND THERE AND AROUND THE WORLD IN FACT.

AS A KID, AN ADOLESCENT, HOW DOES THAT MAKE YOU FEEL?

UM, IT MAKES ME FEEL FRUSTRATED.

I WOULD SAY HOPELESS.

I THINK THE POINT ABOUT THE FRIDAY OF THE FUTURE MOVEMENT AND THE SCHOOL STRIKES IS THAT THEY COUNTERACT THE FEELING OF HOPELESSNESS, WHAT IS GOING ON IS GIVING ME HOPE.

AND SEEING THE WAY THAT THE LEADERS DENY CLIMATE CHANGE AT THE MOMENT DEFINITELY MAKES ME FEEL VERY DISAPPOINTED.

About This Episode EXPAND

Christiane Amanpour speaks about climate change with Jay Inslee, the Governor of Washington; Anna Taylor, an environmental youth activist; and James Balog, an environmental photographer. Michel Martin speaks with Tarell Alvin McCraney & Andre Holland, the screenwriter and executive producer of “High Flying Bird.”

LEARN MORE