YOUNG climate activists across the Borders are set to strike on Valentine’s Day – to show their love for the planet.

Two protests will be held on Friday at Scottish Borders Council HQ in Newtown and in the Market Square at Duns from 10am until noon.

Ruby Finn from organisers Scottish Youth Climate Strikes Borders told us: “Our aim is to raise awareness of the current climate crisis in the Scottish Borders, and pressure the SBC into taking meaningful action to tackle this emergency quickly and effectively. 

“The date was not chosen by us but is rather a national strike date, however we think it is fitting as we can link it to the theme of loving our planet.

“For this strike we have prepared a list of five demands that we believe the SBC should implement, and will be handing them it on the day.

“Firstly, we demand that SBC must declare a climate emergency and become carbon and greenhouse gas neutral by 2025. We then want the Borders, after we become carbon neutral, to then become carbon negative. 

“Secondly, we demand legislation contributing to a Green New Deal to be implemented at all levels of authority; local, national and U.K. wide. 

“Furthermore, we demand that educational authorities ensure that schools teach the truth about climate change to pupils, and develop skills within them, that will allow them to pursue jobs tackling it. Fourthly, we demand SBC form a local citizens’ assembly that dictates local climate change mitigation policy and for national citizens’ assemblies to be advocated for, by the SBC. 

“Finally, we demand SBC to divest all remaining investment into fossil fuel industries from the Local Authority Pension Fund. We then want these divested funds to then be used to fund projects and legislation aiding a local or national Green New Deal.”

In Scotland, 19 out of 32 local authorities have announced a climate emergency, as well as the Scottish Government announcing a climate emergency in April last year. In response to the growing concern over the climate crisis, SBC held its first meeting of the Sustainable Development Committee (SDC) in January.

A spokesperson for the local authority said: “The council agreed at the end of August that a first action for our Sustainable Development Committee was to review the recent decisions and actions of the UK and Scottish Governments and local authorities around tackling climate change, with a view to making recommendations as to how Scottish Borders Council can play its part.

“The committee has asked officers to develop a report for consideration by the full council at the earliest opportunity.”