WelCom May 2021
Catholic students were among the thousands of students who took to the streets across Aotearoa New Zealand on 9 April 2021. Students around the country had six key demands for action to reduce carbon emissions. The gatherings followed the School Strike 4 Climate actions two years ago. In Wellington, an estimated 4000 students marched from Civic Square to the steps of Parliament. Their two key demands were a call to invest in a ‘just transition’ by investing in green infrastructure and vehicles, while ensuring that those previously working in unsustainable industries are retrained for greener jobs. The second was honouring New Zealand’s relationship to its Pacific neighbours by acknowledging they would be more affected by climate change. Climate Change Minister James Shaw received a list of the students’ demands. He said change was happening, referring to the Zero Carbon Bill had come into effect since the 2019 student strikes.
In Auckland thousands protested against fossil fuels. In Christchurch, students demanded more investment in public transport, including making it free, more investment in climate education, and an immediate halt to the Christchurch council-owned Tarras Airport project. In Dunedin, the students’ demands included an end to burning fossil fuels to heat schools.