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At 13, Izzy became one of Australia’s faces of climate activism. Now she’s fighting a landmark class action

Leading thousands of protest marchers through central Sydney and joining a landmark class-action lawsuit aren’t usual for most 14-year-olds. But student Izzy Raj-Seppings has abandoned more frivolous extracurricular activities in favor of stepping up pressure on the country’s leadership to battle climate change. Izzy had become one of the country’s most prominent environmental activists since her tear-stained face made global headlines in late 2019 when she stared down riot police threatening to arrest her outside Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s home. Izzy Raj-Seppings reacts after police threaten to stop her and other protesters during a protest outside Kirribilli House in Sydney, 19 December 2019.

“I think a lot of people look at us and just say, ‘Oh, they’re kids, they don’t know what they’re talking about,” she told Reuters in an interview on 6 April.


“But I think they are underestimating us and don’t realize how powerful we are and how much work we’re putting in. We’re listening to scientists who have been trying to get people’s attention for generations, and people haven’t been listening to them about climate change.”

Australia is the highest per capita carbon emitter among the world’s wealthiest nations. According to Izzy, Mr. Morrison’s inaction on climate change shows the need for a change in leadership.

Her brush with police in 2019 came when the then 13-year-old joined angry protestors outside his official residence in Sydney in the wake of devastating bushfires – her first protest.

Teen activist Izzy Raj-Seppings (center) is seen during Sydney’s Climate Crisis National Day of Action rally.


The incident saw Izzy dubbed “Australia’s Greta Thunberg” by local media.

This month, she stepped further into the spotlight, leading thousands of fellow students in the “School Strike 4 Climate” protest march through central Sydney. She was also one of eight teenagers who brought a class-action lawsuit against the federal government, arguing that expanding a coal mine in New South Wales would contribute to climate change and endanger their future.

Last week, the case resulted in a landmark ruling that the country’s environment minister has a so-called duty of care, or moral obligation to children, to consider the harm caused by climate change.

Eight young Australians and a nun sought an injunction in September 2020 to prevent the approval of the Vickery coal mine extension project in northeast NSW.


At the time, Izzy had her message for Mr. Morrison should she have the opportunity to meet him one day. “I’d definitely tell him that he does need to wake up, that the time is coming for action, and we need it now,”” she said in the 6 April interview.

Molly Aronson

I'm an award-winning blogger who enjoys all things creative but is especially passionate about lifestyle design. I blog over at mehlogy.com I love that I get to share my passion for healthy living, fashion, fitness, and travel with readers from all over the world.

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