Another year draws to a close and yet again it’s been a real mix of highs and lows.  We’ve had some wins and some incredible actions, but we’ve also seen some terrible decisions from policy makers, and an increase social and environmental injustices. Yet through it all we’ve kept taking action and fighting for a better world.

Keeping up the pressure

In 2023 we continued to campaign against new fossil fuels and demand a just transition for Scotland. 

We kept up the pressure with the Stop Rosebank oil field campaign throughout the year, hosting stalls to chat with people in Glasgow, flyering at the Fringe in Edinburgh, and highlighting Rosebank as part of the international day of action against fossil fuels. Despite the UK Government’s atrocious decision to approve the oil field, we will keep fighting in 2024.

Outside the UK government in Edinburgh
Flyering at the Fringe festival
Running a stall in rainy Glasgow

We also ceilidhed outside the Edinburgh International Conference Center to demand no dinner for killers when they hosted a swanky oil executive dinner back in March, made sure the impact of fossil fuels on Edinburgh was highlighted with our speech at the Fridays for Future international climate strike, and represented a youth voice with our response to the Scottish Government’s Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan consultation. 

With the Scottish Government considering the new gas power station in Peterhead and the announcement that the Stop Rosebank campaign are taking the UK government to court, there’s still plenty to fight for in 2024.

Youth in Resistance banner outside the oily EICC dinner
Giving a speech outside the Scottish Parliament

We also can’t talk about this year without mentioning the ongoing horrors we are seeing unfold in Palestine. To us, climate justice means standing up against all forms of oppression. YFoES therefore joins the international climate community in calling for a ceasefire, and an end to the illegal occupation of Palestine. You can read the open letter we have signed here. We continue to join the movement on the street, joining the marches for justice and doing what we can to call for an end to the violence.

Gathering together

In April of this year we hosted the Glasgow youth activist gathering, which saw young people from across the city come together to take part in workshops, share skills and make connections. We had workshops on action planning, collective care, media skills, zine making and more.

This also led to the formation of the YFoE Glasgow group, which as since hosted a series of events and meetings including a nature walk in Kelvingrove park. 

Spreading the word about the Glasgow gathering
Learning about unionising our workplaces
Practicing our interview skills

Our network has also been active in Edinburgh and Aberdeen, with film screenings, zine making workshops and drink and thinks happening throughout the year.

We’ve also been working hard planning the Aberdeen Youth Climate Gathering along with People & Planet and Fridays for Future Aberdeen, which will be taking place in January – find out more and book your place here.

Continuing to learn

YFoES kept learning together in 2023, keeping the conversation going about climate justice and workers rights through a new series of our podcast Decent Jobs on a Living Planet.

Running a workshop with CWU Youth

We also published a brand new zine after our Glasgow gathering – you can read it here. It’s got beautiful artwork, tips on burnout, media skills and more.

Thanks to everyone who invited us to run workshops and facilitate sessions throughout the year. We had a great time learning together at Climate Camp Scotland, with trade union youth groups, the Stop Rosebank campaign, and other groups of young people up and down the country. Get in touch if your group is looking for workshops on anything climate or activism related!

Strategising for the future

Our main project for this year has actually been taking place behind the scenes as we’ve been developing our new strategy. We’ve been talking to YFoES network members old and new, as well as allies from across the movement, and thinking about our strengths and weaknesses, and our place in the Scottish climate movement moving forward.

This culminated in a great strategy weekend on the Isle of Cumbrae, where we produced a huge amount of flip charts and decided on the core of our new strategy (and played lots of games in between). 

Our new strategy will be published in spring next year, so watch this space!

Ferry to Cumbrae
Soo many flip charts
Taking a well earned break

Looking ahead

We hope that 2024 brings better news for us all, with an end to violence and more wins for people and the planet. 

We’ve already got lots of plans, including electing our new steering group in spring, launching our new strategy, our Aberdeen gathering and more. See you in the new year!