(Update 3: Adds info on Europe in final graphs)
Sydney, Australia, Nov 25 (efe-epa).- Thousands of young student activists from across the Asia-Pacific region, including Australia, Japan, South Korea and India, on Friday held protests to demand action to stop the climate crisis as part of a worldwide Global Action Day.
In small groups and respecting safe distances due to COVID-19, schoolchildren in Australia led campaigns in cities such as Sydney, Melbourne or Perth under the slogan “Finance our future, not gas” in reference to the polluting energy policy of the Australian Government.
“The climate is changing, why not us too?,” “You are burning our future” or “Later is too late” are some of the messages that could be read on students’ banners, calling for a transition in the country towards 100 percent renewable energy by 2030.
They criticize that the Australian government spends AUD 12,000 million (about $ 8,400 million) of taxes on subsidies for fossil fuels.
In addition to students, demonstrations have the support of unions and advocacy groups for indigenous minorities, including those affected by gas projects such as the Torres Strait between Australia and Papua New Guinea.
“The change we need is money directed at renewables like solar and wind (power). We need government funding to make the transition of workers from fossil fuels to renewables possible to leave no one behind,” Australian student Ella Simons said on Twitter.
The Government of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison justifies its support for fossil fuels to guarantee the country’s energy independence and create jobs, and therefore continues to promote the exploitation of gas and coal deposits.
Australia is the world’s largest coal exporter and contributes to 5 percent of the world’s total climate pollution, if domestic emissions of greenhouse gases (1.4 percent) and exports of greenhouse gases, gas, fuels and coal (3.6 percent) are added.
Most of the youngsters from India, which is the second worst affected country by the pandemic worldwide, protested through “tele-strikes,” webinars and virtual activities.