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Students plan climate strike

Thames students are planning to take part in a national strike for the environment on April 9.
The Strike 4 Climate event will run from noon until 2:30pm as part of the national School Strike 4 Climate NZ event.
Thames High School student Helena Mayer said students and members of the public were invited to meet at the Mary St closure before marching around the block past Thames-Coromandel District Council to regroup at the corner of Mary and Pollen Streets for a rally with speeches, music and a collaborative community mural painting.
“We encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to join us at the rally during their lunch break or strike for the afternoon,” she said.
Students had several demands for central government, including phasing out fossil fuels, implementing 100 per cent renewable energy, honouring responsibility to Pacific Island neighbours, taking action on agriculture emissions and creating climate education.
“Locally, TCDC will be reconsidering their decision on the Local Government Leaders’ Climate Change Declaration in April, as per court orders, and so we urge them to sign it,” Helena said. “They will also be in the submissions phase of their Long Term Plan so we will encourage the strike participants to submit, and for the council to include ambitious climate justice projects in their plan.”
Helena said New Zealand students were lucky they could meet in large numbers during the Covid-19 pandemic to demand action from their leaders. However, health and safety was the group’s first priority and the event would be postponed or cancelled if the region moved to a different alert level, she said.
“We are striking because our emissions continue to rise, and central and local governments are not taking appropriate action on the climate crisis.”
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