A clear majority of Australians back the school climate change “strikes” taking place across Australia today, a national poll shows.
Students across the nation will take time out from school to join the School Strike 4 Climate demonstrations.
A new ReachTell poll reveals 54 per cent of Australians back students’ demands for a transition to 100 per cent renewable energy like solar power by 2030.
Two-thirds of Australians, more than 63 per cent, also believe it’s important for political leaders to take immediate and serious action to tackle climate change. Nine out of 10 Labor voters back political action.
School climate strikes push for renewables, reject coal
The students published the results of the 12 March poll on their School Strike 4 Climate Australia website.
Students will walk out of school around lunchtime today in solidarity with students from 100 countries. As a result, tens of thousands of students could take part in the national strike.
The students come from around 60 Australian towns and cities. They want to stop the Adani coal mine and all new fossil fuels. They also want to power up Australia using clean renewable energy like solar panels and battery storage.
The first school climate strikes were held in November 2018. Students have asked unions, health groups and faith organisations to walk out with them this afternoon.
Strong reactions to strikes from politicians and community
Students are winning plenty of support for their climate strikes.
- The Greens NSW are throwing their weight behind student demands according to Senator Mehreen Faruqi.
- Director of Australian National University’s Climate Change Institute, Professor Mark Howden, says students have every right to protest about government inaction which affects their future survival.
- NSW Labor leader Michael Daley told students via his National Press Club address that it was okay to join the school climate strikes as the world was at a climate “crossroads”.
- Meanwhile, more than 20 unions have reportedly endorsed the students. These include the Australian Education Union.
- 800 academics have also signed an open letter backing the movement.
Students criticised by Coalition and conservatives
Back in November, Prime Minister Scott Morrison urged students not to join the school climate strikes. According to Morrison, schools shouldn’t be turned into Parliaments.
Then Resources Minister Matt Canavan said the only thing children would learn from the strikes was how to collect government benefits.
As reported by the ABC, a senior research fellow at the Australian Catholic University also claims the strikes result from a failed education system and academic “bias”.
The global school climate strikes movement was started by 15-year-old Swedish student Greta Thunberg in 2018. Students in Central Victoria then kicked off the Australian movement.