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Climate change strike could spur young New Zealanders into action

14 Mars 2019

Picture: Thousands of primary school children, teenagers and university students gathered in the streets of central London on 15th February to protest against climate change and urge the government to take action.

School Strike 4 Climate Action NZ stems from global youth movements to protest against climate change, initially led by 15-year-old Greta Thunberg who started protesting outside the Swedish parliament last August.

"The message of Sweden's Greta Thunberg that "grown-ups have failed us" has been resonating around the world and we at the PSA support young people and citizens of Aotearoa in taking strong action this week".

Strikers in Australia are fighting against a controversial coal mine project and are demanding a full transition to renewable energy by 2030.

Many of these students were previously involved in the #FridaysforFuture protests previous year, led by Swedish youth Greta Thunberg.

As well as marches in Dublin and Cork, there will be strike events outside local authority offices in counties from Kerry to Donegal, Meath to Galway, and locally at school gates across the country.

The strikes are largely a response to a UN Framework Convention on Climate Change report, which indicates that the world has less than 12 years to implement radical change or the impacts of global warming will be devastating and irreversible.

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It is evident amongst my peers at school that we feel let down by our current government. The platform also calls for requiring education on climate change for students in kindergarten through grade eight. Following on from the day itself, I travelled to the nation's capital to strike further at Parliament House and to give a press conference for the Australian media.

The strike past year drew the ire of PM Scott Morrison who implored children to stay in school.

Din, who said she wants to major in environmental studies and work on environmental policy, said she knows that some of the legislative proposals are ambitious and potentially costly.

"Those in power are not only betraying us, and taking away our future, but are responsible for the climate crisis that's unfolding in horrendous ways around the world".

The speed at which these young people have been able to connect and mobilise is breathtaking.

"The idea of this protest is that we have to act now". We are striking for the Green New Deal, a fair and just transition to decarbonize the U.S. economy, and other legislative action that combats the effects of climate change. The letter calls for urgent action "to revive our dying soil, regenerate biodiversity and rebuild the ecosystems that sustain us". They want to understand the impacts of the activities that they're doing.

Climate change strike could spur young New Zealanders into action