The leading child rights agency is calling on all political parties to address the pressing concerns of climate strikers in the lead-up to the federal election.
Natasha, 17, School Strike 4 Climate Sydney rally organiser, said Australian students were joining hundreds of thousands across the world in a global strike for climate justice.
“Time and time again our leaders have ignored the climate crisis, and we're striking again to hold them to account,” she said.
“It was disappointing to see, in the recent verdict of the Sharma v Environment Minister, the government once again deliberately avoid its moral obligation to protect young people.
“Young people are fed up with blatant lies from the government, which says it’s doing enough to act on climate while continuing to approve and fund new coal and gas projects.
“We are already living through the climate crisis, as the 2019-2020 bushfires and the recent flooding in Australia have showed, and we cannot afford to keep moving in this direction.”
School striker Braydon, 15, who lives in Tweed Heads, NSW, was among thousands of young Australians heavily impacted by the devastating floods.
"These past weeks have been a disaster. It is climate change knocking at our doors and warning us, like our scientists have been for over thirty years,” he said.
“This is why we strike, because in 50 years our kids won't be just missing out on one day of school – their schools will be underwater or on fire, because our own government isn't listening."
Save the Children Australia Acting CEO Mat Tinkler said it was impossible to overstate the threat posed by the climate crisis to children’s health, education and survival.
“Children are experiencing increasingly severe and deadly disasters, fuelled by the spiralling climate crisis,” he said.
“While many cannot yet cast a ballot, they have worked tirelessly to make their urgent climate concerns heard. They have a right to speak out, and we stand with them today.
“It is imperative that we all listen to their concerns and act now to protect their futures.”
School Strike 4 Climate groups will follow the strike with climate forums, artistic expressions of climate protest, activities that help students register to vote, and more. Further details on this Friday’s climate strikes can be found here.
Save the Children Australia is working across Australia and the Pacific to help communities increase their climate resilience and recover from the impacts of climate change.
MEDIA CONTACT: Holly Robertson on 0414 546 656 or firstname.lastname@example.org