Wellington Students Prepare To Strike Over Climate Crisis
Students in Wellington are gearing up to strike from school this September 4th, to protest inaction on climate change. Their demands? That Government invests in a green COVID-19 response; that there is a just transition provided for workers in unsustainable industries, with retraining and new job opportunities made available; and that all who are able to vote, do so with the climate crisis in mind.
“It is so important that the Government’s post-Covid spending is done with a green, sustainable future in mind,” says SS4C Wellington. “We are currently at a crossroads in history; the path we take now will determine whether we have secure futures, or whether our adult lives are marked by a climate crisis, a series of tipping points, and a runaway greenhouse effect beyond human control.”
This year’s election provides an opportunity for societal change on a scale never seen before, and it is what is necessary to stop humanity from overshooting 1.5 degrees of warming - the level of warming which the IPCC says we must stay below to avoid the tipping points which will launch us into disastrous levels of climate change.
“These elections are a critical point in our lives,” says Sorcha Ruth, SS4C Wellington organiser. “What we do or don’t do now will impact the futures of every young person alive today.”
In Wellington, students will gather at Civic Square at 11:30am before leaving for a march to Parliament at 12pm. At Parliament there will be speeches, performances, and an MP panel. Participants are requested to wear a mask if possible and to stay home if sick.
Rhiannon Mackie, SS4C Wellington organiser, says “Last year, 170,000 New Zealanders marched in the streets, demanding climate justice. Now our politicians need to prove that they care about Aotearoa, and about the future of today’s young people. We’ve had enough of their inaction - it’s time for them to show us that they can walk the talk.”
With the economic impacts of COVID-19 weighing heavily on the country, School Strike 4 Climate is focusing heavily on the impact that the rebuild will have on the climate. But they haven’t forgotten the Government’s commitments to zero carbon, or the need to reach that target as fast as possible.
“The youth are watching. We have seen you fail at stopping the climate crisis time and time again. And if you fail us now, when we need you more than ever, we will take action ourselves. The sea levels may be rising, but so are we.”