The School Strike 4 Climate Youth Are Still Protesting During Lockdown

The ban on mass gatherings may have stopped climate activists from rallying, but it hasn't stopped them from protesting. Here's how they're doing it, and how you can get involved.

school strike 4 climate

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In another dimension, today would have seen thousands of Australians take to the streets to protest climate inaction.

March 15 was the date set for the second School Strike 4 Climate rally, a movement that attracted massive attention last year when more than 150,000 Aussie students walked out of classrooms to demand climate action.

Last year’s protest was one of the largest youth-led movements in history. Just because there’s a global pandemic preventing them from taking to the streets, doesn’t mean they want to let that momentum go to waste.

Since the last strike, Australia lived through its hottest year on record and its worst bushfire season yet.

That makes the need for government action on climate change even more crucial, but with the pandemic putting a stop to any mass gatherings activists have had to get creative to get their message across.

One of the ways the students behind School Strike 4 Climate are doing this is by hosting an interactive livestream, where they will virtually demand the government step up.

It will include a panel on climate science, fossil fuel workers and renewable jobs, climate anxiety, Pacific climate warriors, and the COVID-19 health climate — as well as some Q&A’s, live music and a screening of the Youth On Strike documentary which covers the lead up to last year’s strike.

But that’s not all that’s happening.

Climate activists from the Stop Adani campaign are also using this time to put pressure on those involved with the Carmichael coal mine, which is still under construction in Central Queensland’s Galilee Basin during the pandemic.

Recently they’ve turned their attention to Adani’s insurance broker Marsh, which is also the world’s biggest insurance adviser.

So far the added pressure seems to be working — the company is expected to announce a new climate change policy at their upcoming AGM, in response to backlash around their involvement in the mine.

According to the Australian Financial Review, investors’ key criteria is understood to be that Marsh must not advise businesses whose activities are not in line with the Paris Agreement targets. That target aims for global net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The School Strike 4 Climate interactive livestream will run from 4pm to 8pm today. You can check out the full program and join the conversation here.