STRIKING youngsters skipped lessons in a bid to persuade politicians to do more to tackle climate change.

Around two dozen young people, the majority of them sixth formers, met outside Swindon Borough Council’s civic offices on Friday lunchtime.

The Swindon protest was one of thousands worldwide, part of a global movement dubbed Schools Strike 4 Climate.

Adrianna Wolczuk, 17, said: “People might say it’s students wanting to ditch school. But it’s about much more than that.”

King William Street Primary School pupil Oscar Noble-Harrison, seven, said: “I’m here because I want to save the planet. People aren’t listening to the scientists and they aren’t helping the planet.”

Mum Anish Harrison said her son had asked to come on the protest: “It was something that my son wanted to do. We’ve always cared about the environment and this was something we really talked about.”

An estimated 10,000 young people gathered in Westminster yesterday as part of the global school walk-out.

Environment secretary Michael Gove praised the campaigners. In a video message he said: “Collective action of the kind you’re championing can make a difference, and a profound one. Together we can beat climate change.”

In Swindon, councillors have stopped short of following towns like Bath and declaring a so-called climate emergency. Definitions vary, but councils have generally treated it as a pledge for the authority to become carbon neutral by 2030.

A bid by Labour and Lib Dem councillors to get Swindon Borough Council to declare a climate emergency failed, with Conservatives blocking a motion at January’s full council meeting.

Instead, councillors backed Mary Martin’s motion asking the cabinet to consider a new policy with international climate change guidance used to assess the wisdom of council decisions.

Yesterday, striking youngsters call on the council to go further.

Rachel Johnson, 18 said: “It’s better to get up and do something, even if it’s small. I want politicians to think, ‘Our youth is really concerned about the climate, we should do something about it.’”

Pal Suha Mubarrat, 17, added: “Every single person can make a difference.”

Ellen Barrett, 16, from Wroughton, said: “Part of being a teen is challenging your parents’ views. I can imagine my children asking what did you? I think it’s important to say I did something my children can be proud of.”

Dan, 11, Redhouse, added: “Swindon Borough Council needs to know what we’re doing, otherwise they’re just going to ignore it. Something needs to happen, because we don’t want earth to be destroyed by us.”

Protest organiser Jaz Sumal of Swindon’s Extinction Rebellion group said: “I’m overwhelmed with joy and hope to see the young people come out. It’s their future. We caused the problem and these poor young people are going to have to sort it.”

Councillors and politicians joined the striking students outside the civic offices. At one point, the council’s head of security came out with plates of cupcakes for the youngsters.