180 students from 17 high schools across Western Sydney yesterday held a Climate Justice Youth Parliament in Granville, calling on political leaders to drive the renewable energy transition.

The students came together to share why they care about action on climate change, and called upon on Minister Stokes and the NSW Education Department to support all schools across NSW to repower with 100% renewable energy, starting with schools in Western Sydney.

While the state budget was being handed down - providing funding for new schools and school air conditioning - these high school students met to call on the NSW Government to make a sustainable investment in their future by resourcing a clean energy transition.

“Global warming is already impacting communities all across the world who have done the least to cause the problem, from the Pacific Islands, to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, to the next generation,” Laura Sykes, Switched on Schools program director and Climate Justice Summit Organiser, said yesterday.

“Here in Western Sydney, communities are already facing the impacts of climate change, with heatwaves, bushfires and drought becoming more regular and extreme.

“These 180 students are the leaders of today and have the creativity and passion to campaign for a fairer, cleaner and more sustainable safe climate future. They know the age of fossil fuels is over, and are here today to make their voices heard, calling on the Minister Stokes to support all NSW schools to  transition to 100% renewable energy to ensure a more sustainable world for future generations,” Sykes said yesterday.

Renewable energy offers an opportunity for schools and communities in Western Sydney to reduce power prices while working towards the vision for sustainability held by students.

“Climate change is a big issue impacting young people in Western Sydney, and we are here to ensure political leaders to hear our voices, and support schools to switch to renewables,” Francesca Smith, high school student who attended the summit.

The Climate Justice Youth Parliament was the culmination of a two-day Western Sydney Climate Justice Summit run by the Australian Youth Climate Coalition in partnership with a number of local councils across Western Sydney. Over the two days students learnt about sustainability and climate change, and made plans to lead local campaigns to repower their schools and communities with renewable energy.