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Thousands of students skip school for climate strike

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Thousands of school students across Australia are taking a sick day from school today to strike for stronger climate action.
Student climate strike

Thousands of school students across Australia are taking a sick day from school today to strike for stronger climate action.

Multiple climate scientists have ‘signed’ printable doctor’s certificates for students who wish to take part in the rallies.

The protest organisers, School Strike 4 Climate, are urging the Federal Government to move away from fossil fuels and pushing for an end to coal and gas projects.

What is happening?

School Strikes 4 Climate is an advocacy group comprised of school-aged students. The group is staging strikes across Australia, including in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Students are rallying under the banner #ShiftThePower, pushing for the government to bring forward its net zero target from 2050 to 2030.

Fossil fuels

Protesters are calling on the Government to end subsidies for fossil fuel companies in Australia.

Data from The Australia Institute found the Federal Government provided $9.8 billion dollars in subsidies to fossil fuel industries in the 2022-23 financial year.

Doctor’s note

Students who want to attend the strike are able to get a doctor’s note from climate scientists.

Meanwhile, the certificate states that the striking student can’t attend school because of “a major climate health concern”.

The note lists “symptoms” of “increased anxiety,” “elevated stress,” and “feelings of despair”.

New data also shows young people in Australia would consider not having children because of the climate crisis.

Government response

Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek told TDA she “completely” understood young people’s concerns, and noted the Federal Government had already legislated net zero emissions by 2050.

Education Minister Jason Clare said “school students should be at school during school hours”.

In response, Greens Education Spokesperson, Senator Penny Allman-Payne, said she had written to Clare to urge him to retract his comment.

Additionally, she said students don’t “want to skip school”, but “are being forced to by a cowardly and captured government.”

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