TWO climate activists from the Omagh area have symbolically added their voices to calls for a green recovery to the coronavirus pandemic by drawing chalk footprints on the pavement at several locations in the town.
Aoibhin Spriggs and Orlagh Duncan wore personal protection equipment and remained socially distanced throughout as they chalked the distinctive messages on High Street, Market Street and at a number of other locations across the town.
The action was part of Youth Climate Association NI’s new campaign to demand a Green Recovery across the North.
The campaign is urging the Stormont Government to stop investing in carbon heavy industries unless they can make low-carbon commitments and bring their operations into line with the 1.5c warming target for global heating.
“Our lives have been completely disrupted, but now we have to decide what the world we return to looks like,” said 18-year-old Aoibhin.
“Do we want to continue funding polluting industries or do we invest in our future? It’s time to rethink, reorganise and revolutionise our society.”
Aoibhin’s comments were echoed by Orlagh, who is also 18 and from Omagh.
“A non-green emergence from the Covid crisis will have a lasting impact for several generations to come,” she added.
“It is time now to act and use this unique, albeit tragic opportunity, we have been presented with to ensure that government subsidies go to those companies that have green commitments.
“We have an opportunity to create a country that is more green, more equal and more just than what was in place before – we must take it.”
According to organisers, the actions taken on Friday are only the first steps in the #greenrecoveryNI campaign.
They have pledged that activists will continue to call and struggle for more investment in green industry, renewable energy and sustainable transport.
Pick up this week’s Ulster Herald, in newsagents or available to download straight to your device https://bit.ly/2Y1cvPM