CENTRAL Victorian student strikers are continuing to push for climate action while in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Castlemaine student Niamh O'Connor, 17, was one of the more than 50,000 people who participated in a virtual climate strike on Friday.
The Schools Strike For Climate movement has gained traction in the past year, with thousands taking to city streets in September last year to demand action on climate change.
Friday's strike was carried out on a Zoom call that was broadcast live on YouTube and Facebook.
There were climate activists and leaders who shared their knowledge during the demonstration, which went for four hours.
Miss O'Connor, who has been an active participant in previous climate strikes, said it was important to keep up the momentum virtually during a global pandemic.
"This time has presented us with an amazing opportunity," she said. "While the health crisis is devastating, it shows that we and the government can act in a crisis.
"While we need to face the COVID-19 issue, the climate crisis is still going on. So we're really trying to continue to learn and share information during this period.
"Once we are allowed to go out, we will push the government because we know that they can act swiftly."
The climate strikers have been calling for no new coal or gas projects, including the Adani mine.
Their other demands are 100 per cent renewable energy generation by 2030, and funding a just transition with job creation for all fossil-fuel workers and communities.
The Australian school climate strike movement began with a group of Castlemaine teens, after they learnt of Swedish teen Greta Thunberg's protests.
Miss O'Connor said the students would continue to advocate for better action on climate change.
We have so much wind and sun power here in Australia," she said. "We could become the powerhouse for renewable energy, which would make us one of the world leaders in this area.
"Spending on renewable energy will stimulate the economy because we will be able to create more jobs and economic growth for our country.
"If we continue down our current path, we will end up spending more money in the long run because we will have to tackle the devastating effects of the climate crisis."
Miss O'Connor said the School Strike For Climate movement had been holding regular forums via social media to educate people about the issue.
She said the community would be ready to take to the streets again - but only once it was safe to do so.
"It's a bit of a wait and see," Miss O'Connor said.
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