While the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal’s carbon tax decision made headlines Friday, hundreds of students skipped school to protest climate inaction and for more to be done about climate change.

Legislative building security estimate at least 500 area students attended a ‘climate strike’ rally at the Saskatchewan legislature. Along with many schools throughout the province showing their support for the Climate Action Plan.

School climate strikes have been held throughout the province since March.

The inspiration for the climate strike came from Greta Thunberg, a young Swedish activist. In the summer of 2018, she started skipping school, citing inadequate government response to a series of Swedish environmental disasters as her motive. The first official school climate strike was organized a few months later and the movement has since spread worldwide. According to some organizers, at least 75 Canadian cities held strikes. More than 600 cities participated worldwide.

The demands of the Climate Change movement is for Canadian policy-makers to adhere to international climate change response plans like the Paris Agreement and to invest in renewable energy.

“We have the potential for the most kilowatt hours in the entire country. And yet we only have one utility-scale solar plant in the province. That is crazy to think we have so much potential but it’s not being utilized,” said 12-year-old Nadia Most one of the student representatives.

Mark Smith, a Grade 12 student said the strikes are the best way for youth to have their opinions heard.

“I can’t do anything politically about it but the government needs to notice that there is something going on,” he said.

Seventh-grader Zanna Martin said that by protesting she was following in the footsteps of her great-grandmother, who fought for women’s rights. “She taught me how important it is to speak up, and I have a chance to do that so I’m gonna take every opportunity to speak my mind and try to make a change,” she said.

She stressed the urgency she feels to start taking action on climate change immediately.

“Action should have started a decade ago, so I have the chance to do it now, I’m gonna do it as soon as possible. It’s not the time to sit back and do nothing. It’s time to panic and be scared cause this is our future on the line,” Martin said.