The first climate change school strike since 2019 is being held this Friday in the capital, with organisers continuing to protest government inaction on environmental issues.
“This strike is the first one in such a long time – which makes it even more important in ensuring a sustainable future for the youth of Aotearoa,” says Kelly Ngan, School Strike 4 Climate organiser.
“The cost of inaction around climate change is everything. It’s crucial that we take steps to ensure our planet is a livable one in the future. Right now, we aren’t seeing nearly enough climate action from the government.”
On January 26, School Strike 4 Climate members rallied parliament to hand over multiple environmental demands for action to the government. Organisers say the strike on Friday 9 April April 9 will put pressure on government to deliver on the demands.
“We need to see the Government walk the talk. No more empty promises, no more inaction,” says Rhiannon Mackie, SS4C co-organiser. “We are in a unique position to not only make changes towards a sustainable future in New Zealand, but also to set the bar for the rest of the world to follow suit.”
School Strike 4 Climate has six key demands it intends to strike for throughout the nation. In Wellington, the main focus is on two of those six. The first, ‘Investing in a just transition’, aims to encourage the Government to invest in green infrastructure and vehicles. It also aims to ensure that those previously working in unsustainable industries will be retrained for more green jobs when the change is made. Secondly, ‘Honoring our relationship to our pacific neighbours’, requires the Government to acknowledge that our Pacific neighbours will be more affected by climate change than Aotearoa, and that we should aid them in any way we are able to.
In Wellington, participants will meet at Civic Square at 11am. A march will arrive at Parliament at 12pm.
“There will be speeches and performances, as well as the handover of our demands to Government. This is an intergenerational strike, and all students and members of the public are welcome and strongly encouraged to attend.”
Organisers ask that participants wear masks.
“Day by day, climate change is becoming more urgent. The longer we wait, the harder the effects of this crisis are going to hit us. We’re at a turning point in history, and now is the time to act,” says Izzy Cook, SS4C Wellington co-organiser.