Residents add voices to ‘Hull says no to fossil fuels’ campaign and demand political action

A Hull resident has become a Save the Children “changemaker” as part of a global campaign. He is asking locals to add their voices to calls to end drilling for fossil fuels in the UK and protect the planet for future generations.

Kayode Olajide Charles and Esther Obikoya at Hull Central Library

Kayode Olajide Charles, 36, who lives in West Hull, has spent his life working with young people and believes that tackling climate change is “essential to the future of our communities”.

“Climate change affects the poorest children in the world most,” said Charles. “Whether that is in Nigeria or Ghana where I lived before coming to the UK, or here in Hull where I live now. We have a responsibility to make our planet safe for our children and that means ending drilling for fossil fuels.”

Save the Children’s new Generation Hope campaign calls for “urgent action on the climate crisis and inequality to create a safe, healthy and happy future for children”.

It involves a network of community organisers across the world listening to local people and sharing their concerns with politicians.

The campaign’s first community outreach event took place at Hull Central Library and Hull residents were keen to show their support.

Comments on the board they were asked to fill out included “Important for future generations that we do something now”, “Create a sustainable future for our kids” and “A healthy environment creates a safe space for our kids”.

Other comments included “Wake up governments”, “Every child deserves a chance at life” and “Preserve our children’s future”.

Charles says he is honoured to volunteer to be part of such a strong local and global campaign.

“Speaking to people in Hull and knowing that is part of such a big global movement makes me feel hopeful for the future,” Charles said. “Whether it’s Denmark, Africa or the UK, in every part of the world we have children and they have a future that must be guided.

“Sometimes when I talk to people they feel negative – they say ‘Oh but the government won’t listen’. To that I say ‘the government serve us, not the other way around. If we all work together, they must listen.’”

Esther Obikoya is a Save the Children campaigner working on Generation Hope. She said: “Decision-makers that support fossil fuel expansion are putting us on a path to oil and gas expansion in the name of security and lowering bills.

“We don’t believe that’s the case, we believe it is something that’s going to make the climate crisis worse, not just for children in the UK, but around the world.

“We also believe that a greener and fairer future can bring that prosperity to so many, and green jobs are a big part of our message and having a just transition. We hear that every day from the people of Hull and that’s why we need to work with communities to get this message to politicians. The majority want more ambitious government action on climate change.”

If you think that children deserve better than a broken planet, read more about the Generation Hope campaign here.