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Strikers demand rapid reductions in emissions

Youth movement for climate justice School Strike 4 Climate is once again striking on October 15 to call on the Australian government to “fund our future not gas”.

The strikers ask the community Australia-wide to take the day off school, work or uni, two weeks before the United Nations climate summit in Glasgow, to demand no new coal, oil and gas projects; 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030; and funding for a just transition and jobs for fossil fuel workers and their communities.

Eighteen months on from the horror bushfires in eastern Australia, the northern hemisphere has just experienced a summer of intense heat, fires and floods. The recently released Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, labelled by the UN Secretary-General as a “code red for humanity”, has highlighted that stabilising the climate will require rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

Yet the Australian government continues to fund and support the fossil fuel industry, including the development of new gas basins across the continent, against the wishes of Traditional Owners. Australia ranked last among 193 UN member countries for action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Sustainable Development Report 2021. Likewise, the Australia Institute showed last month that Australia trails behind other OECD countries in transitioning to a renewable energy system. It is a shameful performance for a wealthy country with abundant sunshine, wind and coastlines.

An in-person rally is not possible in Sydney on October 15 due to Covid-19. Visit https://www.schoolstrike4climate.comfor updates on how you can participate instead. Organisations can also support by signing on to the #FundOurFutureNotGas pledge.

On October 6 at 7.30pm, the Uniting Church will hold an online community forum on “Why is the Uniting Church supporting the School Strike 4 Climate movement?”. Hosted by Julie McCrossin AM, the forum will feature diverse guests from the Uniting Church and Uniting Church schools. Visit https://www.unitingearth.org.au for information on how to tune in.

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