Thousands of young Australians are expected to skip school again on Friday morning and stage another climate strike at more than 70 locations around the nation.
The protests will be held as a follow-up to a global student climate rally on March 15, which was attended by more than 150,000 Australian students and an estimated one million students worldwide.
Organisers of the worldwide strike, which criticised government inaction on global warming, said more than 2000 student protests were held in 125 countries across Asia, Europe, Africa, North America and South America.
Friday’s second round of mass strikes – on Australian soil only – will form part of a youth-led campaign, #ClimateElection National Day of Action, aimed at putting pressure on Australian politicians to urgently act on climate change.
Of the thousands of students striking across the country, hundreds of those are expected to be holding banners and placards outside Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s Kooyong office and the Victorian Liberal Party HQ.
The youth protestors want both major parties to commit to abandoning Adani’s controversial coal mine, to stop investing in new fossil fuel projects and to set a target of achieving 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030.
School Strike 4 Climate co-organiser Emma Demarchi, 16, said a core aim of the protests was to draw attention to climate change ahead of the upcoming federal election on May 18.
“What makes me feel really angry is the fact that the science is there, the facts are there, and the technology and solutions are there – all we need to do now is put them into practice,” Ms Demarchi told The New Daily.
“Our real aim is to put as much pressure as we can on our politicians before the election.
“We want to make this election the ‘climate election’.”
Brisbane you blew us away, thank you for having us! We are back on the road and on our way to Emu Park. #stopadaniconvoy #stopadani #voteclimate #bobbrown #nocoal #brisbane #queensland #emupark pic.twitter.com/OgPAhjcI1k
— Bob Brown (@BobBrownFndn) April 23, 2019
The issue of environmental sustainability was again thrust to the centre of political debate last week, when an anti-Adani convoy led by former Greens leader Bob Brown was met by hundreds of counter-protestors on its tour of coal-rich Queensland.
The 400-strong Stop Adani Convoy is travelling around Australia to protest against the Adani coal mine, which Mr Brown says will cause irreparable damage to Queensland’s Galilee Basin and Great Barrier Reef.
When burned, the coal sourced from the Adani coal mine is expected to generate greenhouse gases equivalent to 4.49 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide.
But when the convoy reached the small Queensland mining town of Clermont on Saturday afternoon, it was met by local supporters of the $16 billion coal mining project.
Local publican Kel Applegate, who organised the rally in support of the Adani project, told AAP that Mr Brown’s convoy members would struggle to find a beer after Clermont’s three pubs all agreed not to serve them.
“It’s nothing personal but (the anti-Adani activists) are hypocrites,” Mr Applegate told AAP.
“How do they think steel gets made, or their electric trains run? It doesn’t come from solar panels or wind farms.”
Regional Queenslanders have come out strong today showing their support for the coal mining industry. Thank you to the hundreds of people in Clermont for your support! #gogalileebasin #startadani pic.twitter.com/5B3PXY3Jv9
— Adani Australia (@AdaniAustralia) April 27, 2019
Some politicians have estimated that the Adani coal mine will create about 10,000 jobs, but Adani’s own special council Jerome Fahrer says the figure is closer to 1500.
Despite increasing public pressure, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has not yet stated Labor’s position on the Adani coal mine.