Hundreds of thousands of students walk out in 2nd 'Global Climate Strike'

In Nelson. RNZ  Tracy Neal

In Nelson. RNZ Tracy Neal

Dunedin School Strike 4 Change co-organiser Zak Rudin called on the Government to declare a climate emergency, and demanded the Zero Carbon Bill be revised to make New Zealand carbon-neutral by 2040 at the latest - not 2050 as is the aim of the Bill.

Made up predominantly of students, around 50 were in attendance as placards and signs were held aloft calling on politicians to take decisive action on the matter.

The "Fridays For Future" movement was launched by Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg in August past year as a way to call on candidates in her country's general election to commit to reducing carbon emissions.

Campaigners have also blocked roads, disrupted public transport and glued themselves together during ten days of protests in London to raise awareness of the issue. The first took place on March 15, with more than 5000 students, parents and teachers showing up to Aotea square. Organizers of the protest pointed out that the number of students who turned up for the event the second time was nearly 4 times double that of the gathering of March, this year.

The series of strikes were led through the social media campaign #SchoolStrike4Climate. We need to educate people about alternate choices.

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However, through all the theatrics of a protest, amidst the chants and cheers, it became clear this wasn't just for show - these students know what they're talking about.

"We are putting pressure on the governments and we want them to act fast and now", said David Wicker, 14, who joined some 7,500 young protesters in Brussels. "We can actually get people to listen to us".

The research was released as students and workers around the world were taking part in thousands of demonstrations in the second global climate strike since March.

"Of course, there are always people that will use [the protest] as an excuse to wag school", responded 14-year-old Isabella.

"We think that it spreads a message that this is a very important election, and that it should be about the climate crisis", she told Sweden's TV4.

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