Australian students hold sit-in to demand climate action
Canberra: Students and activists staged a sit-in at Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday to demand action from the government on climate change.
Hundreds of students held the protest to urge the government to halt plans for a proposed thermal coal mining venture by multinational Adani, Efe news reported.
Wednesday’s rally followed a nationwide strike held last Friday when thousands of pupils walked out of class to demand emergency action on climate change.
“When our future is under attack, what do we do? Stand up fight back!” the protesters chanted.
The students travelled from across Australia to confront Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who last week criticized the students for planning to walk out of class to protest their government’s perceived inaction on the matter.
The students were unable to meet Morrison as they had not scheduled a meeting beforehand, the local media reported.
“Climate change is a very real and serious issue which demands the attention of governments at all levels, and it has the attention of this government,” Morrison said during Question Time in Parliament last week.
“But I’ll tell you what we’re also committed to: kids should go to school. (…) We do not support our schools being turned into Parliaments. What we want is more learning in schools, and less activism in schools,” the Prime Minister said.
In February 2017, Morrison, while Treasurer, famously took a lump of coal into Parliament, telling Parliament members they shouldn’t be scared of it.
Australia has pledged to reduce total emissions to 26-28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030, but a recent UN report said there had been no improvement in the country’s climate policy since 2017.
The document said the latest projections published by the government indicated that emissions would remain high rather than being reduced in line with the 2030 targets.