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This coming Friday, thousands of students around the world will again ditch the textbooks to demand action on climate change in what is expected to be the largest climate strike in history.
Unlike other environmental protests, there isn't just one organisation coordinating the global climate strike. Instead, countless student activist groups across the globe have been leading the charge, mobilising a disgruntled generation who stand to inherit the worst of a warming planet.
In Australia, the strike is being led by youth activtist group School Strike 4 Climate (SS4C) who have three very clear demands for the Australian government:
1. No new coal, oil and gas projects, including the Adani mine.
2. 100% renewable energy and exports by 2030.
3. A just transition and job creationfor all fossil-fuel workers and communities.
The third demand is new to the list and addresses government attempts to pit the needs of climate action against the needs of the economy.
Alexa Stuart, a student organiser for the Newcastle strike, explains: "While it's really important that we recognise that students are feeling scared about the impact of the climate crisis on our future, it's also very important to recognise that there are a lot of jobs in the coal mining industry."
In March of this year, 150,000 Australians walked out of schools, alongside 1.5 million students across the globe, all demanding action on climate change.
To rally further support, the movement is now calling on parents, workers, businesses and unions to join the fight, with over 1,000 businesses and 30 unions in Australia already on board.
Intrepid Travel CEO James Thornton says: "We stand in solidarity to support the next generation as they demand climate action. It is real, it is happening and it's time for global business leaders to do their part."
Inspired by Swedish school student, Greta Thunberg (whose strikes outside of Swedish parliament sparked a global movement), this week's strike comes three days before the UN Emergency Climate Action Summit in New York.
Lead Organiser at School Strike 4 Climate, Jean Hinchliffe, remains optimistic and realistic about government response to their efforts. "I think that it's going to be an enormous journey and we don't know when [political change] is going to happen, at some stage it will, it's just when."
The full list of Australian Climate Strike times and locations can be found here.
To help pressure the Australian government into addressing the impacts of climate change click here.
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