Schools Solidarity with students striking for climate

  • By Rachel Power
  • This article was published more than 7 months ago.
  • 4 Dec 2023

The AEU joined students and other supporters who took to the streets in Melbourne and across the country for the latest School Strike for Climate on 17 November. This time, students had the Labor government firmly in their sights, accusing the party of failing to follow through on its pledge to take serious climate action if elected. The crowd shouted “Shame!” at the mention of the Albanese government’s approval for new coal and gas projects.

Marching from Flagstaff Gardens to Parliament House, the protestors staged sit-ins at major intersections along the way, where speakers spoke to the crowd, painting a picture of the increasingly alarming effect of rising seas and unpredictable weather patterns across the Pacific region.

“Education is all about paying attention to the facts. Australia’s school children along with students across the globe are calling on the Australian government to do the same.”

Meredith Peace

Inspired by Swedish environment activist Greta Thunberg, who as a 15-year-old began striking from school every Friday, young people around the world have been leading the mass coordinated strikes to protest government inaction on climate change. In late 2019, teenagers in regional Victoria kicked off the rapidly growing School Strike for Climate movement in Australia. The following September, around 350,000 students, including more than 100,000 in Melbourne alone, staged the country’s biggest action yet for climate action.

The AEU, IEU and NTEU, along with other unions, continue to support the School Strike 4 Climate movement in its fight for environmental justice and action on the climate emergency.

“We see every day, as teachers and educators, students’ concern about climate change, but also their will, determination and passion to fight for action,” says AEU president Meredith Peace.

“We are calling on Australian state and federal governments to take action to reduce Australia’s carbon emissions and create the policy frameworks for a just transition away from fossil fuels for workers in carbon-intensive industries and their communities.

“Australia’s students know and understand the need for urgent change and, along with students across the globe, they are calling on the Albanese government to act.”

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