School Strike 4 Climate: Classrooms in Australia Went Empty as Students Joined Climate Strike
The latest grassroots campaign by young individuals in Australia surprised the country after thousands of students joined the School Strike for Climate rallies on Friday.
The number of Australian students that joined the protests reportedly reached 50,000. The action by students was their latest move in fighting climate change and pushing the government of Australia to set more ambitious emission targets and transition to renewable energy.
According to BBC News, David Soriano, 17, who was among the students who attended the rally, emphasized that he was worried about the future. Soriano noted that he wants the government to see the youth movement as one to be reckoned with.
Soriano said they were scared and concerned about the increasing heatwaves and low air quality that they are experiencing in his hometown in Western Sydney.
He added that they were doubtful that there might not be a future in store for the upcoming generations or even their own generation.
The young protesters in Australia also called for the stoppage of any project involving coal, oil, and gas in the country, including the controversial Adani mine. The Adani Enterprises from India has attracted criticism all over Australia after developing a new thermal coal mine in the country.
Furthermore, the students also want 100 percent renewable energy generation. They asked the Australian government for a renewable energy transition, leaving away the fossil fuel jobs and targets 2030 as the year to export natural energy.
Aside from his family in Australia, who was affected by climate change, Soriano said that he also fear for his extended family in the Philippines, who have been experiencing severe typhoons.
Recently, weather conditions faced by the country are at an unpredictable rate. That's why Soriano hoped that the government would hear their voices.
The school climate strike was the first Australia-wide protest since the pandemic last year, ABC reported. Protests were held in more than 50 cities and towns across the country on Friday, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Climate Policies in Australia
Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison has faced sustained criticism over climate policy and international pressure in stepping up the country's efforts in cutting emissions.
During a global climate last month, Morrison resisted calls to set more ambitious carbon emission targets while other major nations vowed deeper reductions.
Despite being one of the world's biggest carbon emitters on a per capita basis, Morrison, in his speech during the summit, noted that future generations would not thank them for what they have promised but for what they have delivered.
Meanwhile, the science and weather agencies of the country said that Australia has warmed on average by 1.4°C since national records started in 1910. They said that climate change also led to an increase in numerous extreme weather events like forest fires.
Nicki Hutley, an economist at the Climate Council, said that gas does not make economic sense in Australia anymore because it increases emissions at a time when the rest of the world is reducing emissions, and it creates very few jobs.
WATCH: Thousands of School Students Go on Strike to March for Climate Action - From ABC News (Australia)
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