School Strike 4 Climate returns, some demands may already be in the works by Government

Drastic action is needed on climate change.

That’s the message thousands of school students will chant as they march through streets across Aotearoa on Friday.

Students taking part in the annual School Strike 4 Climate (SS4C) event have put together five key demands they want to be actioned from politicians, and some of their demands might be met.

Their demands:

  • No new exploration or mining of new fossil fuel resources.
  • Lower the voting age to 16-years-old.
  • 30 percent marine protection by 2025.
  • Support regenerative farming.

E-bike rebates for lower-income families.SS4C events have previously taken place during school hours but SS4C Aotearoa leader Oscar Compton-Moen says a change in time to 3pm is to help reduce the disruption to students' learning.

"Obviously it's been quite disruptive the past few years, so we just want to reduce that disruption as much as possible and make sure as many people as possible can get to the strikes because obviously, it's a massive issue at the moment so we just want to increase that impact on the issue."

Compton-Moen told AM the 3pm event will hopefully ease the pressure on high school students undertaking internal and external exams.

"And then obviously with University Students, getting them down will be crucial to have a successful strike."

One of SS4C's demands is e-bike rebates for lower-income families. Compton-Moen says a 30 to 40 percent rebate will make alternative transport like e-bikes more accessible.

"E-bikes are very expensive but also great for getting to places quickly. For those who might live 6 to 7kms away where it would otherwise take 30 minutes to cycle into work, on an e-bike you can do that a lot quicker."

And it appears some of SS4C's calls on the Government may already be in the works.

Minister for Transport Micheal Wood told AM the Government's Clean Car Upgrade initiative trial, which begins in April could potentially soon be used for e-bikes too.

"It'll be more focused and really pitched at people at lower to middle incomes who might have a dirtier vehicle, they want to shift to a cleaner vehicle, maybe a hybrid or something, but they'll also be able to use it in that way if that's what they want."

And Minister Wood signalled Cabinet will soon consider its position on lowering the voting age, he told AM a decision on that is "significant" and will likely involve the New Zealand public.

But Wood said it would be "very difficult" for a referendum to be delivered at this year's election.

Compton-Moen wants the Government to act now on SS4C's calls because "we can't continue with the status quo".

"If we just keep having cyclone after cyclone those costs are going to add up really quickly, and if we don't do anything then it is going to continue to pile up on us."

Watch Compton-Moen's full interview above.