Today students across Australia will go on strike in a protest demanding governments take action to combat global warming.
The West Australian has asked three WA students to explain in their own words why they are leaving the class room and taking to the streets.
Why are you leaving school to protest the lack of action of climate change?
Siobhan Sutton (15, Perth Modern School): The state of our climate has been widely proclaimed as an emergency, but the Government, the very people elected to represent and protect us, have nothing but empty promises to show. Scientists have predicted that we have under twelve years to get this climate crisis under control, therefore we must act now. And so, in order to send a message to the Government and to show the world we care we will be striking from school.
Bella Burgemeister (13, home schooled): I will be striking as part of the global movement which is now happening in over 50 locations in Australia and over 80 countries worldwide. We want our politicians to know that want a secure future and we are asking for no new coal or gas mines, 100 per cent renewables by 2030 and no fracking.
Laleuca Banister-Jones (12, Denmark Senior High School): Because it's clear that the Government isn't doing nearly enough to help the climate, so the kids need to act so that we can pressure them into stopping climate change from getting worse.
What is your opinion on the response to climate change from our government and other leaders?
Siobhan: In all honesty, the response from our politicians, or lack thereof, is absolutely appalling. Climate change is the biggest threat to our future at current, yet we see no attempts from the government to protect this future. We need a swift transition to renewable energy in order to have a chance at stopping this crisis, but our so called leaders are not protecting us and our future like they should be.
Bella: There is a retirement thinking mentality and no future thinking. We need them to think 50 years ahead and even 100 years ahead not just their term in office. They are thinking about making money and we are thinking about the mess they will leave us with.
Laleuca: So far? Not impressed. The Government might be making some kind of attempt, but they aren't coming close to what needs to be done. We need to stop burning coal and oil and chopping down old forests right now. We only have 12 years to fix this and the Government isn't going in the right direction.
What do you say to people who say students shouldn’t take time off school to engage in political matters?
Siobhan: Strike actions happen all the time in the workforce and are typically regarded as an effective method of protest so why should students striking from what is technically our occupation be any different? We have seen an issue, we have seen a lack of action, and we want to make a statement. When it comes down to it, these adults can't really do much to stop us - we will strike from school and we will make our voices heard.
Bella: I say join us. If you won’t stand with us then get out of our way because we are fighting for our futures and we won’t stop until this is done. We are giving up our childhoods to fight for our future.
Laleuca: I am having trouble understanding what their reason could be to not want a safe life ahead of them and their kids.
What was your parents’ and teachers reaction when you told them you would be striking?
Siobhan: Personally, I have experienced quite a range of reactions. Whilst my parents respect my opinions and are supportive of my actions, my school is not explicitly endorsing the movement. However, I have found several teachers sympathetic to the cause.
Bella: I am 100 per cent supported by those in my life when it comes to the School Strike. My parents know my passion for helping the environment so they are not surprised by my striking.
Laleuca: My parents are all for it. They're proud of me and my friends. Some of my teachers have been really supportive but my principal has tried to shut us down.