Young people appeal for a post-COVID recovery that protects all from climate change
On Friday 21 May, as part of School Strike 4 Climate events, young people across Australia will be voicing their concern that taxpayer dollars should be spent on supporting a clean energy post COVID recovery. They have again asked that older Australians support them in this call.
The students, along with many climate scientists, energy experts and those in the general community, are deeply concerned at our Federal Government’s plan to spend millions of our taxpayer dollars on a gas-fired recovery, despite the evidence that:
- Gas, like coal, is a polluting fossil fuel that increases our greenhouse gas emissions and increases the risk of greater and more harmful climate change
- Gas is more expensive that existing renewable energy sources and creates fewer jobs than renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.
- Independent energy experts tell us that new supplies of gas will simply not be needed and new gas mines and power plants risk becoming stranded (useless) assets.
Instead, our young people are calling for us to focus on solutions shaped by Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander wisdom and care for country and that safeguard indigenous land rights. They want to see investment that transitions our economy and communities to 100% renewable energy by 2030 and which creates new jobs that address both the climate crissis and provide a good future for affected communities and industries.
May and June see very significant events concerning Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander peoples. 26 May is National Sorry Day where we together acknowledge the terrible mistreatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who were forcibly removed from their families and communities, which we now know as ‘The Stolen Generations’. 27 May to 3 June is National Reconciliation week. Look out for resources for these events in coming weeks, including from Common Grace (an online Australian Christian movement for justice).
In 2019 our Synod resolved to support young people’s advocacy for climate action as part of the Synod Climate Action Strategy. This followed many years of our members taking action for the reconciliation and renewal of creation and for justice for those who are most impacted by climate change and environmental destruction. Hundreds of Uniting Church members and dozens of congregations have stood with the students in actions in 2019 and 2020. On 21 May this year events will be held across Australian including in capital cities, regional centres and other towns.
You can find out about what events are being organised near you by going to the School Strike website.
We can show our support for these events in a number of ways:
- Join in a 21 May event. For those in Sydney, a pre-event worship service in the CDB is also being planned.
- Sign the SS4C pledge.
- Put a message of support on your church notice or make/display a supportive banner.
- Take a selfie of you or your group with the message #FundOurFutureNotGas and post it on social media.
- Let your local member of parliament know why you are taking action.
In the coming weeks we will share more detailed information on how you can support our young people in calling for the action our nation and world needs for a safer climate future.
But if you have any questions now please contact Jon O’Brien on 9407 3225 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Youth Climate Actions Task Group (a task group of the Synod Climate Action Strategy)