The wider Uniting Church is joining youth climate leaders calling for action on climate change, and to build a better future
The Uniting Church in Australia has a long history of caring for creation. There is hope in our stories of putting faith into action, hope in our strategies to adapt, and hope in the mobilisation of large groups of people for political change and the building of strong communities. As Covid-19 and climate impacts have been disrupting the world, we have a once in a generation opportunity to reimagine and create a safer and better future.
School Strike 4 Climate is a movement led by school-aged students who are taking action for climate justice. In 2019, they led thousands-strong strikes and marches through major cities across Australia calling for bolder climate action. In 2020, they led numerous small-scale and online actions, and in May 2021 they once again rallied on the streets. Our Synod has formally supported the strikes and many Uniting Church members have joined in the actions.
Our young people, along with many climate scientists, energy experts and those in the general community, are deeply concerned at our Federal Government’s continued funding of the fossil fuel industry, including the development of new gas basins across the continent, 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 than 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 are not required and/or won’t be viable as renewable energy becomes even cheaper and as our trading partners phase out of fossil fuels. The real risk is that new gas mines and power plants will become stranded (useless) assets.
Australia is a wealthy country with abundant renewable energy resources. Yet, as the climate crisis worsens, it has been ranked last in the world on climate action. Our youth are calling on the government to do better.
School Strike 4 Climate is once again striking on October 15, two weeks before the United Nations climate summit in Glasgow. The strikers ask the community Australia-wide to join with them take the day off school, work or uni, to demand:
- No new coal, oil and gas, including Adani’s mega coal mine
- 100% renewable energy by 2030.
- Funding for a just transition and jobs for fossil fuel workers & their communities.
Ways to support the October 15 strike!
Attend an action happening near you!
Register to join in an October 15 action and ask others to join you. There are COVID-safe in-person and digital actions planned.
Make a donation!
Donate to School Strike 4 Climate to help them to organise the October 15 strikes.
Sign the School Strike 4 Climate pledge!
Sign the School Strike 4 Climate pledge as a congregation or community group. These pledges will be taken by School Strike 4 Climate groups to meetings with local Members of Parliament, demonstrating widespread community opposition to public subsidies and taxpayer funding for gas.
Church noticeboards and banners!
Take a photo and share!
Take a photo and amplify your action by spreading the word through social media, #ClimateStrike #Uniting4Climate.
Please also share your photos with the Uniting Advocacy team at [email protected].
Help to spread the word about your action and concern by sharing your photo on social media. Some tips:
- Your default privacy settings might be such that only your friends can see your posts. If you would like other people beyond your friends to see your post, make sure you make the post public.
- Use the hashtags #SchoolStrike4Climate and #Uniting4Climate. People searching for posts associated with the strike will then be able to see your post, as long as you have made the post public.
- If you are posting a photo of a group, tag or mention others who appear in the photo (with their permission). You can mention someone by using the @ symbol and typing their name.
- Tag or mention others who you think might be interested in your post.
- Share your post to relevant social media pages, such as your church’s page.
- For help with the specific social media platform that you are using, visit the help pages provided by that platform.
Tell your MP why you care!
Let your local Member of Parliament know that you are taking action and why you care
There are multiple ways to do this:
- Tag or mention your MP when you post on social media. Use the @ symbol and type the name of your MP’s social media account (search for this in your social media platform if you don’t know it). Your MP will then receive an alert.
- Ring your MP and tell them about why you support young people in their call for urgent climate action.
- Write a letter to your MP. Make sure you say why you are concerned about the issues. For help to write a letter, see this messaging guide and letter-writing tips from the Uniting Advocacy team. If you have a group photo or a photo of a sign or banner at your church supporting the strike, include that too.
There is a lot of information out there! Here are some good videos and places to get engaged and learn about emerging solutions.
Insights articles on climate action. https://www.insights.uca.org.au/category/climate-action/
ABC report on the latest climate change report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-08-09/coal-climate-change-global-warming-ipcc-report-released/100355952
ABC Four Corners “Fired Up”. Four Corners investigates what is driving the Federal Government’s push for a gas-fired future in the face of considerable scepticism, with many warning that the public is not fully informed about the cost of backing gas. https://www.abc.net.au/4corners/fired-up/13299104
Samantha Hepburn, “4 reasons why a gas-led economic recovery is a terrible, naïve idea”, August 25, 2020. https://theconversation.com/4-reasons-why-a-gas-led-economic-recovery-is-a-terrible-na-ve-idea-145009
Australia Institute report, “Weapons of gas destruction: Lifting the lid on greenhouse gas emissions from Australian fossil gas projects and resources”, September 2020. https://www.acf.org.au/weapons_of_gas_destruction
Beyond Zero Emissions ‘Million Jobs Plan’ is a great example of what a climate-smart recovery could look like. Listen to BZE’s Principal Researcher, Dr Dominique Hes on how the Million Jobs Plan aims to find and deliver one million new, good, secure, well-paying jobs, to help rebuild our economy after the disruption of the coronavirus pandemic and secure a strong future for all Australians. Dominique is joined by BZE Hunter region volunteer, Dr Natasha Deen speaking on how local communities are getting involved.