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Young Kiwis put climate action on the policy agenda

Monday, September 23, 2019

Young Kiwis cut through the noise to put climate action on the policy agenda

Thousands of young Kiwis will walk off school grounds and take to the streets on September 27 to strike for climate action.

The nationwide event, which will happen alongside similar events around the world, follows an earlier strike in May and highlights the increasing pressure young people are putting on the government to prioritise climate action.

Hamilton-based organisation Young Workers Resource Centre (YWRC) promotes youth empowerment across social justice issues, and cautions politicians to take heed of this growing movement.

“Young people have found their power,” says YWRC spokesperson Tony Stevens.

“They have been able to cut through the political noise and get to the heart of an issue that has an enormous impact on our future. The failure to take meaningful action on the climate crisis right now is not acceptable to young people and we have decided to put our collective foot down.”

The urgency from young people reflects the narrow window of opportunity we have remaining to contain the damaging effects of greenhouse gases emissions.

Tens of thousands of young Kiwis are expected to participate in the strike as momentum for the youth-led movement continues to grow.

With local body elections coming up in October and the 2020 General Election not far away, pressure is mounting on politicians to take the youth voice seriously.

“Obviously the consequences of failing to act on climate change are scary but I am heartened by the response from young Kiwis, many of whom are not even eligible to vote yet,” says Stevens.

“This is our future, and our government, councils, and politicians are not doing enough to avert the looming consequences.

“If we think the wrong people are in power then we will send them a message that they need to listen to us otherwise they might find their stay in office a short one.”


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