Youth Climate Action

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. Throughout the pandemic in they have led numerous small-scale and online actions, and rallied on the streets when it has been possible to do so. 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.

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 May 6, as part of a #GlobalStrike to demand that world leaders fight for #PeopleNotProfit and protect the futures of young people, First Nations lands, and the safety of all. The strikers ask the community Australia-wide to join with them take the day off school, work or uni, to demand:

  1. Net zero by 2030 which means no new coal, oil or gas projects including the Adani mine.
  2. 100% renewable energy generations and exports by 2030.
  3. Fund a just transition and job creation for all fossil-fuel workers and their communities.

School Strike 4 Climate is also hosting a range of other actions in the leadup to the federal election, asking people to stand up to our politicians and #VoteForOurFutures.

More videos on Why the Uniting Church Supports the School Strike 4 Climate

Uniting Church Schools Students Speak about the Climate Strike

MC Julie McCrossin speaks with students from Uniting Church schools and congregations about why they are striking, their experiences of the strikes, and how adults can get involved. Recorded at the webinar “Why does the Uniting Church support the School Strike 4 Climate movement?”

First Nations and Pasifika Voices for Climate Justice

MC Julie McCrossin speaks with Aboriginal and Pasifika participants about climate justice, care for country, relationship and the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC). Recorded at the webinar “Why does the Uniting Church support the School Strike 4 Climate movement?”.

Uniting Church School Headmaster Speaks on his Support for Student Participation in the Climate Strikes

Michael Parker, Headmaster at Newington College, explains why he supports school students’ decisions to participate in the climate strikes. Recorded at the webinar “Why does the Uniting Church support the School Strike 4 Climate movement?”

Ways to support the May 6 strike!

Attend an action happening near you!

Join in a May 6 action and ask others to join you. 

Pray for the strikes!

Feel free to adapt and use these prayers in whole or in part.

Church noticeboards and banners!

Put a message of support on your church noticeboard or make/display a supportive banner.
See here and here for creative ideas. Banners are also available from the Synod, see here.

Make a donation!

Donate to School Strike 4 Climate to help them to organise the strikes.

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.
Take a photo and share!

Take a photo and amplify your action by spreading the word through social media, #ClimateStrike #PeopleNotProfit #Uniting4Climate.
Please also share your photos with the Uniting Advocacy team at advocacy@uniting.org
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 #ClimateStrike, #PeopleNotProfit 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.
Get informed

There is a lot of information out there! Here are some good videos and places to get engaged and learn about solutions.

Insights articles on climate action. https://www.insights.uca.org.au/category/climate-action/

ABC report on the latest climate change reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change:
https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2022-03-02/ipcc-climate-change-australia-ecosystems-irreversible-coral-kelp/100866682
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.

Reports and resources from the Climate Council: https://www.climatecouncil.org.au