A strike for all ages

A group of climate change protesters outside the Tauranga City Council stand in solidarity with Wellingtonian Ollie Langdridge.

Tauranga students will be striking for climate change next month, and they are encouraging people of all ages to get involved.

School Strike 4 Climate Tauranga is organising a strike for Friday, September, 27 on the waterfront.

The group is especially keen to see older generations join in on the strike.

Strike convener Zoe de Malmanche says it’s extremely important for older generations to get on board to send a strong message to local councils.

“If we can encourage people that are working to come join, then they can potentially close their workplaces down if there is a lack of employees on that day. It creates more incentive, particularly with local council.”

Zoe reiterates that students are still very much at the forefront of the movement, however, they need additional support from adults.

“It’s still led by students. They are going to be the most affected by the impacts of climate change.

“However, we acknowledge the importance of including all those who understand the cause to protest alongside us.”

Zoe says older people who join the strike are standing up for their children, grandchildren and youth around NZ.

“A lot of the older generation do acknowledge climate change but for them, it’s not quite as important.

“It’s more confronting for us, but with education and conversation it’s something they can all get on board with.”

Tauranga resident Mary Rose joined School 4 Strike Tauranga last Friday at a ‘sit-out’ outside Tauranga City Council Chambers. She is planning to join the school strike next month too.

She is absolutely rapt about the rising of students around the world to address climate change.

“I have come here to be supportive. Good on you, and may you be heard.”

Within the financial year of 2015-2016, Tauranga produced about 760,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent. Sixty-one per cent of these emissions relate to transport.

The location of Tauranga makes it more vulnerable to the impacts of sea-level rise with a projection of a rise of over 1.3 meters by 2120 - only 100 years away.

Zoe reckons people in Tauranga need to stop using their cars on a daily basis.

“We need to focus on carpooling, biking and taking the bus. By doing that you are encouraging the council to take further action and invest in those sectors more if they know people are actually going to use them.

“We also need to have these conversations about where our carbon footprint is and what we can do to stop that.”

For more information about the upcoming protest, visit: www.facebook.com/schoolstrike4climate