Young people across Australia ditched their classes on Friday in a push for the country to take more action against climate change and halt plans to expand the gas industry.
School Strike 4 Climate signs were seen in dozens of locations including the national capital, Canberra, and state capitals; Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, where strikes started around midday.
Organisers tweeted images of crowds with placards across the country alongside the hashtag “FundOurFutureNotGas.”
Thousands were leaving their classrooms to March, broadcaster ABC and Guardian Australia reported.
The protest comes after the country’s budget announcement last week, which saw the federal government pledge more than 58 million Australian dollars (45 million US dollars) to expand the gas industry.
This week, the New South Wales state government announced up to 600 million dollars of taxpayer money would go towards building a gas-fired power station in the state.
Strikers were calling for the government to fund projects that transition the economy towards renewable energy by 2030.
For the world to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, the global energy sector must undergo a massive transformation and new investment in projects using fossil fuels must stop immediately, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in a report earlier this week.
Climate change has contributed to a series of natural disasters in Australia in recent years, including the Black Summer bushfires of 2019-2020 and flooding earlier this year.