Liberal Studies: School strike for climate action in HK [March 12, 2019]

Liberal Studies: School strike for climate action in HK [March 12, 2019]

Hong Kong students plan class boycott to protest against global warming, but authorities and educators say skipping lessons should not be encouraged

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Students (from left) Elisa Hirn, Zara Campion, and Emily Tarr are organising a climate change strike in Hong Kong.
Photo: Joanne Ma/SCMP

News

In a bid to steer the attention of  Hong Kong’s youth towards environmental issues, three students in Hong Kong  are organising a school strike this Friday. The Facebook event page – School Strike For Climate Action Hong Kong – calls for students in Hong Kong to boycott their lessons and walk from Charter House to the Central Government Offices in Admiralty. 

The student organisers of the citywide class walkout will submit a proposal on ways to lower carbon emissions in  Hong Kong and tackle climate change to the government at the end of their march.

HK teens inspired by environmental activist Greta Thunberg urge fellow students to join their school strike for climate action

Seventeen-year-old Elisa Hirn, one of the three organisers, said they were inspired by Greta Thunberg – the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist who started the global “Fridays For Future” movement by staging school strikes last August. 

The organisers believe Hong Kong should get on board with what Thunberg is doing, and they hope the event will show their concern about the Hong Kong government’s lack of action towards tackling climate change.

Zara Campion and Emily Tarr, who are also in the organising team, pointed out that the 2019–20 budget, released last month, did not allocate a lot of money for climate change action in Hong Kong. 

ESF schools voice concern over the school strike for climate action inspired by #FridaysForFuture movement

“They could be giving more to this sector [each year] but they haven’t been giving as much money [towards climate change] compared to other countries,” said Zara, 17.

“Financial Secretary Paul Chan [Mo-po] said that he would take note of any proposals that could be envisioned. So we’re going to give him our proposal  and, hopefully, he’ll stick to his word.”

Global conservation body Greenpeace has also been in contact with the student organisers to see how they might work with them at the school strike.

Edited by M.J. Premaratne


Question prompts:

- Hong Kong’s Education Bureau has released an official statement, saying the strike will “disrupt order and learning in schools”. Do you agree? Explain your opinion.

- Student protesters taking part in  other similar climate change strikes argue this kind of action is necessary because, with the repercussions of climate change, things will get to a stage where education doesn’t matter. Do you agree? Why or why not?


Read Issue 1 here

Read Issue 2 here

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