Wellington: New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Wednesday urged students of the country not to underestimate the power of their voice ahead of a nationwide youth strike to call for action against climate change. Ardern met a group of 130 students at Wellington College who are supporting the Friday demonstration happening in conjunction with global strikes inspired by the movement started by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, Efe news reported.

“Don’t underestimate the power of your voice,” said Ardern on stage, flanked by student activists Sophie Handford and Molly Doyle, student host Jesse Richardson and Climate Change Minister James Shaw.

“I think too often we make this assessment that in order to have an impact, you have to be of voting age. That is just not the case… Keep challenging all of us with the work that you’re doing,” the 38-year-old leader added.Ardern discussed the government’s role in combating climate change and took questions from the students as well as from those watching the live broadcast.