The federal government must recognise the urgent need for action on climate change, Ballarat secondary student Anna Burnett says.
Ms Burnett is one of a group of environmentally minded students organising the Big School Walkout on Climate Change in Ballarat.
She will be among thousands of students across Australia who plan to march together on Friday to draw attention to inaction on climate change.
Ballarat students will meet on Friday at 12pm at the Ballarat Trades Hall with the aim to send a message to federal politicians that its time to step up and agree on a national policy for a climate change emergency.
“We are trying to create that sense of urgency the government has been ignoring. The lack of government action is shameful,” Ms Burnett said.
We want to create change, but not anger.Anna Burnett, Ballarat student
Scott Morrison has been labelled "out of touch" for angrily condemning the national student strike and imploring children to stay in class rather than protesting things that "can be dealt with outside of school".
Ballarat strike organiser Alex Drew said it was a sign of good education students were aware of Australia’s issues and taking action.
“So many young people have become disillusioned with politics and increasingly anxious at the lack of action on climate change,” he said.
Ms Burnett emphasised the strike would promote positive climate action through a collective front.
“We want to create change, but not anger,” she said.
Students gathered at Ballarat Trades Hall on Wednesday to create posters that read ‘system change not climate change’ and ‘make earth cool again’.
The strike comes after City of Ballarat passed a climate notice of motion at a council meeting last week.
The motion put forward by councillor Belinda Coates proposed council recognise Australia is in a state of ‘climate emergency’ that requires urgent action by all levels of government.
It also proposed the prioritisation of initiatives that move toward carbon neutrality and 100 per cent renewables.
Cr Coates said the carbon neutrality and 100 per cent renewables plan was currently being developed and will be presented to council in 2019.
“We really need to step it up and make sure those actions in the plan are resourced and budgeted for so we can pick up the pace of action,” she said.
A new United Nations report has found Australia is not on track to meet its 2030 Paris climate target. Under the agreement, Australia promised to reduce its emissions by 26-28 per cent by 2030.
But a UN report released on Wednesday says greenhouse gas pollution levels are projected to ‘remain at high levels’.