School Strike 4 Climate protest calls for urgent action

Clear message . . . Bayfield High School pupils (from left) Jordan Osten (15), Ben Hayward (17) and Josephine Tarasiewicz (15) were at the School Strike 4 Climate protest in the Octagon last Friday. PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON

Secondary school pupils want climate action and they want it now.

About 1000 secondary school pupils took part in the School Strike 4 Climate protest last Friday, calling for the politicians to take urgent action on climate change.

Bayfield High School pupil Josephine Tarasiewicz attended the strike. The Government was taking steps to address climate change, but it wasn’t enough, she said.

Fellow pupil Ben Hayward said it was important to “put the message out here that we want change”.

He was impressed to see so many people at the strike showing their support.

“We need to make it even bigger.”

Otago Girls’ High School pupil Jessie Penhey said action was needed now.

“If people in our generation want to raise kids, they are going to have to sort it out.”

Although fewer people attended the protest than the one on March 15, the turnout was “still really good”, she said.

Fellow OGHS pupil Alix Lough said: “Some older people still do not believe climate change exists.”

When asked if she thought politicians were paying attention to the strike, Bayfield High School pupil Jordan Osten hoped so.

“If we keep going they will eventually listen.”

The pupils were part of the global school strike movement, which was started by Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg.

Co-organiser Zak Rudin told the crowd that while the Government’s Zero Carbon Bill was a “good start” it was “not enough”.