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STELLENBOSCH University (SU) students, along with students of the greater Cape Town area, marched in solidarity at the Global Climate Protest on 20 September outside Parliament.

The Global Climate Protest took place worldwide, with cities in 150 countries providing the setting for mass protest against climate change. Catherine Meyer, EcoMaties chairperson, said that she would like SU and its students to take a greater stance towards sustainable waste disposal.

“There should be compulsory modules that educate Stellenbosch students about the effects of climate change. The main problem seems to be that people are not willing to address the issue as it means that certain lifestyle choices need to be made.” Tilmann Waffenschmidt, an international Socio-Economics student studying at SU, is happy that he was able to join his German counterparts in protesting. “I know that there are thousands of participants taking part in marches back home. It makes me feel proud and glad that I could take part in spreading the topic in the minds of people around the world as well as attempting to find the solution to climate justice,” said Waffenschmidt.

Nicki Du Plessis, a third-year BSc (Conservation Ecology) student at SU, and her father, Morné du Plessis, CEO of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) South Africa, marched together down Roeland Street. Nicki is of the opinion that all members of society should be taking part in the protest and the steps towards combating climate change. “I think it’s more than just marching or protesting; it’s about doing the little things that help and of course holding the government accountable wherever we can.”

The protests came a day after world leader President Donald Trump revoked the Californian State’s authority to set stricter carbon emission regulations. This, according to Enya Munting, a third-year BSc (Conservation Ecology) student, is the reason why the youth are calling for world leaders to wake up and reconsider their policies with regards to the environment. “People and leaders need to wake up and smell the emissions,” Munting said.

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