Contributed by a member of the Australian Education union
The Victorian Branch of the Australian Education Union (AEU) has thrown its support behind the next school students climate strike, which is going to take place on 20 September. The AEU is the union that represents teachers across Australia.
School students are timing their walk out of the classroom for shortly before the United Nations Climate Summit, and will joining similar action by school students across a range of countries.
The Climate Summit, which will happen on 23 November, is supposed to be the defining moment, where global agreement to accelerate implementing the terms of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change is supposed to take place. But this is far from a foregone conclusion, in the face of pressure from vested interests and reluctant governments.
Our young have a vital role in calling out, exposing and making those who wish to prevent change pull back, and allow humanity to steer a course away from disaster.
The union’s support came at a Sate Council meeting, where it was unanimously agreed, “to ensure students participating in…are afforded their democratic rights and can do so safely.” A union delegation will be sent to the 20 September march in the city.
Union members are to be encouraged to attend the strike associated march, organise a workplace action and use social media to show support. Most importantly, members are being asked to make it as easy as possible for students in terms of classroom content.
The school student strikers are acting for the third time since late last year, because they believe that we are now in a climate crisis, and have no other choice but to take decisive action, to push for a serious reduction in carbon emissions.
Government moves to open up to produce more coal, oil and gas is raising the level of anger and determination. The fact that it is young people who will inherit the damage, has driven home a high level of awareness and recognition of the seriousness of the problem need to now and in a big enough way.
Being less blinkered than some older people, they know that we are already hurting from climate change and that it is going to get much worse, if not enough is done.
Consequently, the school strikers are calling for a fair and swift transition from fossil fuels, to hundred percent renewable energy.
This time around they are asking adults to join them by at least taking a day off work.