MEDIA RELEASE: UCA joins student climate action to #buildabetterfuture

Climate and COVID-19 demands we act now for young people’s futures  

As young people face the extraordinary threat of climate breakdown, particularly in this season of COVID-19, the Uniting Church of NSW and ACT, and community services arm Uniting, say the student climate action is more important than ever.

The Synod and Uniting will be allowing workers to participate in the online action from 4pm on Friday May 15.

The Moderator of the Uniting Church NSW and ACT, Rev. Simon Hansford said this year’s student action #buildabetterfuture is a necessary inspiration to all.

“We’ve been vocal about care for our environment and climate since 1977, and last year resolved to adopt a Synod Climate Action Strategy with a target of 50% reduction of emissions by 2030.”

“We’ve hit 13% already, divested of all fossil fuel investments, and launched a range of initiatives that will see more reductions and a 100% hybrid fleet of vehicles.”

The Uniting Church was the first major institutions in Australia to support the strike in 2019.

Rev. Hansford sees this year’s action as well timed. “We have an opportunity now to rebuild the economy with clean, renewable technology, rather than fossil fuels that pollute our air and magnify extreme weather, as we see with the drought and recent bushfires.”

“COVID-19 has shown us how our community can act with purpose and speed when change is required. We need to act with that passion now on global heating.”

Hansford applauded the efforts of the student organisers and those planning to participate and encourages schools, faith communities and businesses to support the action.

Isaac Hemsworth-Smith (14) is one of the organisers of the student’s community action. Last year, the group of organisers was behind the School Strike for Climate but with COVID-19, organisers adapted the day for students to gather online.

Thousands are expected to join the live stream action from 4pm. “We’re tracking really well with the live stream, with an awesome night of speakers and performance and interactivity coming along nicely.”

“We’re hoping to raise awareness and action on climate change in solidarity with those impacted,” said Hemsworth- Smith.

Doug Taylor, Director Mission, Communities and Social Impact at Uniting said, “young people will bear much of the burden of COVID-19 costs and global heating, it’s only fair, we support their efforts to keep a safe climate.”

Find out more and access the live stream action on 15 May :

For more information, please contact:   

Steph O’Connell 0439 600 312


  • Moderator, Uniting Church NSW and ACT, Rev. Simon Hansford,
  • Director Mission, Communities and Social Impact at Uniting, Doug Taylor