SYDNEY, Australia: On the 21st of May, the School Strike 4 Climate is having their first national strike since 2019, organised by students around the country – and this year Australian businesses are joining them.
Not Business as Usual is urging other Australian business leaders to join them on May 21 2021 by publicly allowing their staff to strike.
Led by Future Super, Atlassian, Canva, Patagonia, Athena Home Loans, Marque Lawyers, Who Gives a Crap, Intrepid Travel, Amber Electric, Huddle Insurance, the alliance includes over 207 businesses who are standing in solidarity with the students.
“As business leaders and entrepreneurs, we are doing what we can to save our shared planet and need the Government to act,” said Simon Sheikh, CEO and founder of Australia’s first fossil-fuel free superannuation fund Future Super
“The more of us that take action, the stronger the pressure is on the Government to make change. The number one reason that people won’t strike isn’t the pandemic, it’s work. By supporting our employees to strike, we are allowing them to stand up for what the majority of Australians believe in: climate action.”
While the rest of the world is addressing climate change and building towards a future that doesn’t rely on gas and coal, Australia is the only country to double down on fossil fuel investment.
Mike Cannon-Brookes, co-founder and co-CEO of software company Atlassian, said, “The climate crisis demands real leadership and action to enact change. Unfortunately we are lacking in both in Australia.
“Luckily we can draw inspiration from the next generation who are refusing to accept the status quo and are stepping up to urge our government to take a stronger stance on climate change, and we want to stand in solidarity with them. That’s why we’re giving Atlassian’s our full support to attend the upcoming strike if they choose to do so, to help send a united message – Don’t @#$% the Planet.”
Scott Morrison addressed the climate summit with no clear policy or action while the rest of the world pledged stronger climate targets and concrete policies to curb carbon emissions.
“The Morrison Government could be protecting our climate, land and water, and creating thousands of new jobs by growing Australia’s renewable energy sector and backing First Nations solutions to protect Country,” said Year 12 student Sophie Chiew and School Strike 4 Climate activist.
“Instead, they are lining the pockets of multinational coal and gas companies, which are fuelling the climate crisis, devastating our land and water, wrecking our health and creating very few jobs. On May 21, all of us need to stand together – students, young people, organisations, adults and businesses – and say enough is enough. We cannot keep throwing public money at coal and gas.”
Over recent months, Australia has attempted to pivot on climate policy, with the Morrison government saying it hopes to achieve net zero as soon as possible, preferably by 2050, but has not explicitly committed to anything.
This year’s climate strike events are COVID-Safe and are registered with local authorities. The organisation asks that attendees follow local restrictions such as bringing face masks, hand sanitisers, practicing physical distancing of 1.5 metres. For those experiencing cold and flu symptoms, the organisation encourages that you “please stay home”.
For individuals and business that don’t want to or cannot take time off to strike, you are encourage to make a pledge to write a letter to your Local Member of Parliament.
Media release submitted by Sling & Stone.
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Cover image by School Strike 4 Climate.