These kids are going on strike to protest the 'climate emergency'

Nia and Iolo Cornthwaite won’t be at school next Wednesday.

The siblings aren’t planning to fake an illness or wag class to catch a movie with friends.

There is no school excursion. There is no family emergency.

There is, however, a climate emergency, one which they say needs the urgent attention of those in the halls of power.

Nia and Iolo will skip school on November 28 to protest against government inaction against climate change. Photo: Elesa Kurtz

Nia and Iolo will skip school on November 28 to protest against government inaction against climate change. Photo: Elesa Kurtz

So, on November 28, the Chapman Primary School students, together with dozens of like-minded peers, will gather outside Parliament House to urge their elected representatives to act on global warming.

The protest is part of the School Strike 4 Climate Action, a movement which started in central Victoria and has quickly spread across the country.

Inspired by 15-year-old Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg, who in September camped outside her country's parliament to draw attention to the threat of climate change, four Bendigo students announced they would picket their local MP's offices to demand action to tackle global warming.

Word of the protest soon spread, and school strikes have now been organised in every capital city and a number of regional towns across Australia.

In Canberra, Nia, 10, said her fears for the planet's future were sparked by a school project, through which she learned of the environmental consequences of climate change.

"I think that education is important, but what's even more important is making sure that we try and do something about climate change," Nia said of her motivations for participating in the Parliament House protest.

"There are ways that we can do that, by helping create new models of electric cars and not adding to the greenhouse gas levels. It really is just small things that we can do in our community, which can make a big difference."

Iolo, 11, hoped the protest would pressure politicians into fast-tracking the transition to a 100 per cent renewable energy market.

"We just really want to try and get the message out that there is a future and we want it to be a great future," Iolo said. "We want lots of green, not just a world of rising seas and tornadoes."

The siblings' involvement in the protest has the blessing of their mother, Shilo Preston-Stanley, who said peaceful protest was an important means for young people to communicate their concerns.

"This is a great opportunity for them to feel like their voices are being heard, and to help them learn about how to take action," Ms Preston-Stanley said.

An ACT Education Directorate spokeswoman said students would not be penalised for skipping class to attend the November 28 rally, provided they had the permission of their parents or carers.

"The ACT Education Directorate values and encourages student voice in education," the spokeswoman said. "In this particular instance, as the strike is outside of school grounds, it is the responsibility of parents and carers to guide and supervise their child in their actions as global citizens."

ACT Climate Change Minister Shane Rattenbury praised the student activists, and said they had "every right to be angry" about government inaction on climate change.

"Not enough is being done to address the climate emergency," Mr Rattenbury said. "We need to take action now – it is their future, and they are right to expect better."