The Morrison government faces a nationwide call to pump money into renewable energy and clean technology, rather than gas, to stimulate the economy and cut emissions.

Thousands of students are expected to gather at about 400 events across the country as part of the School Strikes for Climate campaign.

The events, which will also occur online, will highlight the message that the government should “fund our future, not gas”.

Anjali Sharma, 16, one of the lead organisers of Friday’s online events in Melbourne, said that the federal government’s lack of action on climate change was forcing young people to protest, even as the city remains in a stage four lockdown.

“Although the pandemic has brought the world to a halt, it certainly hasn’t brought the climate crisis to a halt and that is why we cannot stop protesting this and demanding that the government prioritise our futures over anything else,” she said.

Brisbane student Neha Pauly said Prime Minister Scott Morrison should invest COVID-19 recovery funds into renewable energy, creating jobs while tackling climate change.

“Giving taxpayer dollars to the polluting gas industry is putting the interests of the gas industry ahead of the public interest,” she said.