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Amelia: Hey, Amelia here, and we're bringing you a very special episode of News Break, all about the global climate strike. Millions of students all over the world have hit the streets. Marches and protests are being held in more than 3,400 towns and cities across 130 countries. We sent Matt along to check it out.
Matt: Thanks, Amelia. I'm at a rally in Adelaide and lots and lots of students have come out to take part. And I'm speaking with one of them now. Why is this such a big issue for so many kids?
Student: I think this is such a big issue for so many kids because our future is being decided entirely on the decisions that are being made today.
Students: What do we want? Climate action! When do we want it? Now!
Matt: I'm here with some of the organisers of today's event. So what's it all about?
Student: Um, we have three main goals that we're putting towards the Federal Parliament in the hope that they make genuine change on them.
Student: So, we want the government committing to not allowing any new fossil fuel projects. Um, we want them to commit to 100 per cent renewable energy export and generation by 2030 and we want them to fund a just transition for fossil fuel workers and their communities so that no one is left behind.
Matt: And what do you think about people being critical of kids taking the day off school, for instance, or leaving what they're doing to take part in it?
Student: I don't think they have any ground to stand on. Um, students, kids they take the day off for a bunch of less important reasons like this show or, like, the races. Um, this is an incredibly important cause and, um, this is an opportunity for them to stand up for their futures and that's definitely worth missing school for.
Student: Everybody wants us to go to school and I want to go to school because I want to get educated. But climate change is so important that through school that I've learned that we need to actually do something. And with our power we should all stand up and fight for what's right.
Matt: There is so much going on right here and there are more events happening just like this around Australia and all around the world. Back to you, Amelia.
Amelia: Thanks, Matt. Let's check out some of those other Aussie rallies. There were massive crowds in Sydney.
Student: This is an everybody issue.
Amelia: People in Cairns talked about the reef.
Student: We can feel that climate change is a pressing issue, especially in Cairns, where the Great Barrier Reef is on our doorstep and dying.
Amelia: And there was a big turnout in Canberra. Now, with all these protests and marches happening around the world, you might be wondering how it started. Well, it was inspired by a teenager from Sweden.
Cale: You probably know by now that this is Greta Thunberg, and she's the person behind this global movement. It started in August last year. She believed that her government wasn't doing enough to fight climate change. So, she decided to send a message.
Greta: Every Friday, we will sit outside the Swedish parliament until Sweden is in line with the Paris Agreement.
Cale: Greta's actions attracted heaps of attention. And pretty soon, millions of kids all over the world had joined in too. Greta's become an international icon. She's travelled the world, talking to world leaders, with a pretty clear message.
Greta: Unite behind science. And then I want you to take real action.
Cale: Of course, that's not an easy thing to achieve. Climate change is a global problem. And a lot of countries can't agree on the best way to tackle it. But the Aussie government says it does have a plan.
Mathias Cormann: We are committed to strong environmental protection, but in a way that is economically sensible.
Cale: Greta says the best thing people can do is start small, because everyone has the power to make a difference.
Greta: No one is too small to have an impact and change the world. So, just do everything you can.
Amelia: In keeping with all things environment, let's check out some happy stories of people doing their bit to help save our planet.
These kids in Townsville are on a mission to save a tiny, endangered bird. These little cuties are black-throated finches. Experts reckon they're extinct in New South Wales and only around a thousand are left in Queensland. But the students at Belgian Gardens have managed to breed 120 over the past six years.
Check this out! It's a virtual reality reef. A team of international scientists created it to provide a snapshot of what the world's coral reefs look like and how they're changing.
And what better way to draw attention to the issue of climate change than to create a giant portrait of Greta Thunberg? An Italian land artist created this 27,000 square metre picture of her by ploughing through a field in Verona, Italy.
Well, that's about it for today. But let us know, did you hit the streets for a climate march? Comment below. Let us know where and what you got up to. Also, hit that subscribe button so you can keep up with all the latest news.
What do you think about the student protests?