Mecklenburg-Vorpommern District

Australian students strike against government funding for gas industry, Energy News, ET EnergyWorld


SYDNEY: Thousands of Australian students skipped school Friday and gathered with climate activists to call on the government to stop funding the gas industry, attacking Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s plans to finance a new gas plant.

During the event dubbed ‘School Strike 4 Climate’ (SS4C), students gather in nearly 50 Australian towns and villages, organizers said, including major areas of the capital following the removal of restrictions on COVID-19 social distancing.

“Today, along with tens of thousands of my disappointed Aussie compatriots, I am on a school strike to tell the Morrison government it must stop throwing Australian money on gasoline,†Natasha said. Abhayawickrama, 16, organizer in a statement.

Australia’s Conservative government has promoted gas to help fuel the economic recovery from the COVID-19 recession, despite calls from climate experts, green groups and the International Energy Agency to stop new investments in fossil fuels.

Gas is also seen by the government as the key to Australia’s energy transition, as it is cleaner than coal and can power flexible power plants to support wind and solar production. This week, Australia pledged A $ 600 million ($ 468 million) for a new gas-fired power plant.

Photos posted on social media at noon from Sydney, Hobart, Adelaide, Perth and Melbourne, showed young people and activists holding signs reading “#FundOurFutureNotGas” and “Clean energy solutions, not coal pollution and the gas”.

One of the world’s largest carbon emitters per capita, Australia lags the world in the adoption of electric vehicles. Morrison has resisted global calls to commit to a net zero emissions target by 2050, citing the risk of damage to the economy.

Instead, Australia is investing in technology to meet its Paris Agreement commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 26% to 28% from 2005 levels by 2030, including $ 418 million to develop carbon and hydrogen capture projects.

The rallies demand a halt in funding for gas and coal projects and that the government invest and create jobs in renewable energy, organizers said.