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CLIMATE STRIKE: children to vote with their feet

Save the Children Australia will stand with children and young people striking to save the planet this Friday, 21 May.
21 May 2021
School students and their supporters will be striking around Australia this Friday in a desperate attempt to get adults and politicians to take the climate crisis seriously.

The School Strike for Climate (‘SS4C’) rallies began in 2018 by a group of students who were inspired by Greta Thunberg’s weekly protests outside Swedish parliament.

In 2021, things have only got worse. More children and young people in Australia and throughout our region have been forced from their homes because of flooding, fires and cyclones than ever before.

The climate crisis is a threat to every child on earth and Save the Children is committed to amplifying the voices of children to ensure their demand to save the planet is heard loud and clear.

Save the Children Deputy CEO Mat Tinkler:

“Climate change is a threat to children everywhere.

“In Australia, schools have been damaged or destroyed and children have had their education disrupted because of climate change.


“We are calling on our Prime Minister to listen to the voices of children.

“Children and their rights must be put at the centre of climate discussions, commitments and policies.

“We have children telling us that gas isn’t the future, meanwhile the government has announced $600m towards a new gas-fired power plant in the Hunter Valley. It is clear that politicians are not paying attention.

“Climate scientists, the International Energy Agency and the government’s own energy sector advisors all agree that a new gas-fired plant makes zero sense.

“These young people attending the rally don’t have the luxury of repeating our great big mistake of putting profit before the planet.

“For these young people the climate crisis isn’t academic; they’ve choked on the smoke, they’ve watched their homes burn and livelihoods crumble.

“These children are aghast at the inaction of adult leaders; the lack of urgency. Children and young people demand to be heard, they demand action and they aren’t going away.


Save the Children’s Our World, Our Say survey of 1500 children and young people aged 10-24 years in 2020 found over 90% of Australian young people had experienced one natural hazard event in the last three years and 78% are concerned or extremely concerned about climate change. Only 13% of young Australians felt they were listened to by leaders in government.

Soon-to-be first time voter, Jasmine, 17, will be attending the strike. For her, the political is personal:

“I have been wanting to vote since I was 16 - and am excited to be able to exercise this right at the next election! I live in Zali Stegall’s electorate, and whilst she has done so much for the Northern Beaches area, we are still facing a proposed gas plant across the beaches from Manly to Newcastle. Gas isn’t the future and this proposal isn’t okay: our water systems will be polluted, tourist industries will be ruined, and it will impact the livelihood of so many people.”

Jasmine is not only passionate about voting, but in ensuring that our representatives represent us:

“One day, I hope to be in parliament and able to make transformative changes myself. Until then, I’m going to strike and make my voice heard, because it is my future that is on the line.”

The School Strike 4 Climate will be taking place in all capital cities and in over 50 places around Australia on Friday May 21. Find your closest rally here.

Media contact: Angus Smith 0488 330 882 or media.team@savethechildren.org.au

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