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Today, We Strike. - SS4C Auckland

The climate strikes are finally back! It’s been a turbulent year-and-a-half since our last strike, with two cancellations due to COVID-19, but finally we’re back with our fourth Intergenerational Strike 4 Climate.

Christina Sieberhagen, 15, is a year-12 student at Northcote College and a spokesperson for School Strike 4 Climate Auckland.

‘Since our last stand in September 2019, the Zero-Carbon Bill and Emissions Trading Scheme have been passed, the Government has declared a climate emergency, and the Climate Change Commission have released a draft of their advice to our Government. However, none of this is enough. The Zero-Carbon Bill, Emissions Trading Scheme, and Climate Change Commission report aren’t ambitious enough to tackle the magnitude of the climate crisis. We are doing too little too slowly. The actions of our government simply do not match their words on ‘climate emergency,’ Christina says.

‘This is why we continue to take to the streets.

‘We must see bolder action from the Government. We have seen how popular strong and brave leadership is in the face of a crisis, with our Government’s COVID-19 response. We’ve seen the effect of a governmental mandate on behaviour change with mask-wearing, especially on public transport. That is what we are demanding today.’

Jack Barlow, 16, is a year-13 student at Western Springs College and a spokesperson for School Strike 4 Climate Auckland.

‘This is our chance to put pressure on the Government, to have a voice. I know a lot of us young people especially feel so disenfranchised by the political climate. In our political system, if you have an issue you take it to the polls. You vote for the change you want to see. We don’t get that. That cornerstone of democracy - we don’t get that. This is our way to have an actual say in our futures’ Jack says.

School Strike 4 Climate Auckland also has a set of eight demands for Te Kaunihera o Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland Council about bettering public transport.

‘Transport emissions are the largest in Tāmaki Makaurau’s emissions profile, making up 43.6% of it. We cannot adequately tackle emissions without tackling transport. Yet all signs from Auckland Council’s actions and plans point to emissions going up, not down. This disconnect is unacceptable.

‘Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri: Auckland’s Climate Plan is really good in a number of regards. But bold plans require bold action. We must see that from Te Kaunihera o Tāmaki Makaurau,’ says Jack.

‘It’s good to be back. It’s time we started building up our momentum again. We had a great run in 2019 - let’s show the country this isn’t a one-time thing. The public will is still there. Watch the space for more,’ says Christina.

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