On Friday, thousands of New Zealand students called for urgent action on the streets of towns to combat climate change.
Held for the first time since 2019, the nationwide protest was part of a student movement called “School Climate Strike 4 (SS4C)”.
SS4C Auckland spokeswoman Christina Sieberhagen pointed out that although the New Zealand government has declared a climate emergency, it is “not enough”.
He explained: “We have done too little and too slow. Our government’s actions simply do not conform to their words about the’climate emergency’.”
Another spokesperson, Jack Barlow, said the school strike was an opportunity to put pressure on the government.
He added: “I know that many of our young people feel deprived of the right to vote due to the political climate. In our political system, if you have questions, you can participate in opinion polls.”
However, people under the age of 18 in New Zealand do not have the right to vote in elections.
Barlow pointed out: “This is our way of participating in the future.”
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, New Zealand still allows unrestricted protests such as wearing masks and physical distancing.
Liam Rutherford, chairman of NZEI Te Riu Roa, said the country’s largest education union supports the strike.
Rutherford said: “NZEI Te Riu Roa fully supports the goals of the “School Climate Strike 4” campaign, which includes the removal of fossil fuels, a step towards 100% sustainability, a fair transition, support for our Pacific neighbors and Obviously high-quality climate education.