Climate crisis hits home for CQ teen on a mission
AT JUST 15, Emily Dunnett is determined to see change and has a passion to help save the environment.
Tomorrow she will participate in the School Strike 4 Climate protest outside the Gladstone Regional Council Chambers where she hopes to be joined by others with the same goal.
"At the moment we are at the frontline of a climate crisis," Emily said.
"There are little things that everyone can do to make a difference."
The Year 10 Gladstone State High School student said she believed her education was important but so too was fighting for her future.
"You can strike whenever you want but the reason why we decided to strike on a school day is because we go to school to learn, to get a job for our future," Emily said.
"The scary part is that our future can be jeopardised by climate change.
"It tells (the government) that we don't see the point in education without a future."
Emily said it was important for young people to have a voice on the matter.
"We don't have the ability to vote, we can't say who our politicians are going to be and what they can do but we can influence our parents and adults to make a change," she said.
"I'm excited to see the involvement (in the strike) within the community and to find out how many people really want to make a difference just like me."
Emily also hopes people will gain a "better understanding of the effects on the environment by the industries".
"We should be steering away from fossil fuels and gas and coal and more to renewable energies," Emily said.
"Unfortunately at the moment the government has given a green light for all of those industries to create more business for themselves ... Adani coal mine (for example)."
Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said Emily's "commitment to the cause is admirable".
"I respect the enthusiasm of our young people and their desire to call attention to the impacts of climate change," Mr Butcher said.
"They have a right to express their opinions about their future and to be listened to.
"Friday is a school day and education is important too.
"Children protesting need to ensure they have permission to do so and have parental consent."
Mr Butcher said the Queensland Government made a "firm commitment" to a renewable energy target of 50 per cent by 2030 and to have zero net emissions by 2050.
Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd said students had a right to protest or strike, however, he believed the protest should be held on a Saturday to avoid disruption to education.
"Australians recognise climate change and the importance of protecting the environment and we do what is right for our environment, without taking a wrecking ball to the economy," Mr O'Dowd said.
Mr O'Dowd said the government was on track to reduce emissions intensity by two thirds and emissions per person by half to achieve the 2030 target.
The strike is open to anyone.
The protest will be held at noon tomorrow outside the Gladstone Regional Council chambers on Goondoon St.