150,000 students strike for climate action around Australia
Next steps include further strikes, Climate Election Kickstarters + Candidate Forums to put climate change front and centre of the Federal Election.
PHOTOS available on Flickr here.
15 March 2019: An estimated 150,000 students and adult supporters across Australia joined massive, vibrant, nationwide climate strikes today, in over 60 cities and towns across the nation, demanding immediate and urgent leadership from Australian politicians to tackle climate change. Internationally, students in over 100 countries also took action.
Today’s strikes were ten times the size of last November’s school strikes. Further background and new polling below.
Next steps: Students are discussing further strikes if they don’t see the action they need from politicians. Other plans include #ClimateElection KickStart meetings at the end of March to make plans to pressure politicians to show climate leadership, and local climate change candidate forums where candidates will be challenged by school students to commit to stop Adani and act on climate change.
16 year old Nosrat Fareha from Western Sydney said, “The turn out across Australia was nothing short of amazing.
“Politicians have responded with indifference to our crippling summer of record heat, bushfires and floods. It’s no wonder so many came out in support today.
“With the federal election around the corner, our political leaders must commit to stop the Adani coal mine, say no to new coal and gas projects and transition to 100% renewable energy by 2030.
“There’s no time to stand by and wait for the bold action we need. We will keep organising, building our movement and riding the wave of community frustration until Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten step up to the job.” concluded Fareha.
BACKGROUND Australian strikes are listed here
The Australian school strike movement began last year when school students in Central Victoria were inspired by 15 year old Swedish student Greta Thunberg who has been striking outside Swedish Parliament every Friday since August. Last November, over 15,000 Australian school students went on strike, defying Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s orders not to. A similar number hit the streets a week later, in response to Adani’s announcement it would self-fund its Carmichael mine.
*Other unions which have endorsed the strike include: Australian Services Union, United Firefighters Union, United Voice, the Construction and General Division of the CFMEU Victoria, the Australian Nurses and Midwives Federation Victoria & NSW, Education International, the global federation of unions representing 30 million education workers, and Public Services International, a global union federation of 669 public services trade unions representing 20 million workers in 154 countries. Full list: https://www.schoolstrike4climate.com/partners
A national Reachtel poll conducted on 12 March 2019 (available here) found:
Thinking about the upcoming federal election, almost two thirds (63.1%) of Australians think it’s ‘important’ or ‘very important’ that political leaders commit to immediately take serious action to tackle climate change. That view is strongly held - nearly half of all those polled said it’s ‘very important’ that leaders act.
Amongst Labor voters, the sentiment is stronger still - more than 9 out of 10 (92.8%) Labor voters believe it's ‘important’ or ‘very important’, and nearly 8 out of ten (79.2%) think it is ‘very important’ that political leaders commit to immediately take serious action to tackle climate change.
A clear majority of Australians (54%) support the student strikers’ demands and, of this, a sizeable number (42%) ‘strongly support’ them.
NATIONAL MEDIA ENQUIRIES:
Phone: 0427 485 233, 0437 316 331
Email: [email protected]
STATE MEDIA ENQUIRIES:
NSW: 0427 485 233
VIC: 0437 316 331
QLD: 0415 833 948
SA: 0457 449 188
WA: 0430 439 357
TAS: 0472 639 380
ACT: 0408 668 963