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Tāmaki Makaurau students lead Schools Strike 4 Climate march

Tāmaki Makaurau – Students from all over Tāmaki Makaurau took part in School Strike 4 Climate march down Queen St today.

Christina Sieberhagen, 15, a year-12 student at Northcote College and a spokesperson for School Strike 4 Climate, says since their last march in September 2019, the Zero-Carbon Bill and Emissions Trading Scheme have been passed.

“The government has declared a climate emergency and the Climate Change Commission has released a draft of their advice to our Government. However, none of this is enough,” Sieberhagen says.

“The Zero-Carbon Bill, Emissions Trading Scheme and Climate Change Commission report aren’t ambitious enough to tackle the magnitude of the climate crisis. We are doing too little too slowly.

“The actions of our government simply do not match their words on climate emergency. We must see bolder action from government.

“We have seen how popular, strong and brave leadership is in the face of a crisis, with our government’s covid response. We’ve seen the effect of a governmental mandate on behaviour change with mask-wearing, especially on public transport. That is what we are demanding today.

Jack Barlow, 16, is a year-13 student at Western Springs College and a strike spokesperson says the strike is a chance to put pressure on the government, to have a voice.

“A lot of young people especially feel so disenfranchised by the political climate. In our political system, if you have an issue you take it to the polls.

“You vote for the change you want to see. We don’t get that. The strike march is our way to have an actual say in our future.”

The school climate strike has set eight demands for Te Kaunihera o Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland Council about bettering public transport.

‘‘Transport emissions are the largest in Tāmaki Makaurau’s emissions profile, making up 43.6 percent of it,” Barlow says.

“We cannot adequately tackle emissions without tackling transport. Yet all signs from Auckland Council’s actions and plans point to emissions going up, not down. This disconnect is unacceptable.

“The city’s climate plan is really good in a number of regards. But bold plans require bold action. We must see that from Te Kaunihera o Tāmaki Makaurau.”

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