‘Lives are already being lost’: Muswell Hill student climate strikes organiser warns of environmental breakdown

Anya Ramamurthy gives out water during the climate school strikes. Picture: Anya Ramamurthy

Anya Ramamurthy gives out water during the climate school strikes. Picture: Anya Ramamurthy - Credit: Archant

An 18 year-old who has been one of the driving forces organising school climate strikes in London warned “lives are already being lost” due to the climate crisis, and explained it’s time for action.

Muswell Hill teenager Anya Ramamurthy, a sixth-former at Woodhouse College in Finchley, is a member of the UK Student Climate Network and has been involved in organising many of the events and strikes - including in February and September this year - which have seen students leave the classroom to protest about the climate emergency.

"My family has been quite environmentally aware all my life," Anya told the Ham&High.

She said she had been involved in other social justice movements before and that "climate justice brings all of those together, it's really powerful to be part of."

Anya told this newspaper the issue was one of life and death.

She said: "The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report gave us a 12 year limit but there are other scientists who think we've got a lot less time. People haven't been listening to the scientists or activists. That means we have missed time to take action.

"Our climate breakdown is already impacting people. Lives are already being lost."

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Referring to those killed in the more frequent natural disasters which have, in particular, impacted on the developing world, Anya added: "I am doing it for our children and grandchildren, but also for the children who have died already."

It's not all doom and gloom, though. Anya thinks the strikes have awakened the UK to the issue. She said: "There's definitely a little hope. The strikes marked a point where climate justice broke through, it's being talked about."

And now what? The movement would continue to organise, she said, but it was time to do something. She added: "The government declared a climate emergency, but they did it to get us off their backs. We need actions."