The Climate Elephant in the Room

This election, there’s been a horrifying lack of action on climate change. But the Australian Youth Climate Coalition’s Elephant in the room is keeping climate change alive as an election issue and showing Tony and Julia that young people (and elephants) demand stronger policies to cut carbon pollution. Check out these hilarious videos below (make sure you watch the Sky news one until the end).

You can see more photos, video and news coverage of the Climate Elephant in the room here.

Monday Morning: What’s Left? What’s Next?

On Saturday afternoon, as most world leaders had left Copenhagen, the AYCC International team gathered in a circle on the dusty floor of a large warehouse called Oskenhallen that most of the NGOs, including us, had been using as a workspace since we’d been locked out of the Bella Centre a few days into the second week of negotiations.

The mood in Oskenhallen was sombre. Small groups of climate advocates were conferring around tables, talking quietly and seriously about next steps post-UN Climate negotiations, and working hard to frame the debate back in their home countries. The sense of activity and purpose and expectations of the past few days had drifted away in a blur of confusion, disappointment, anger, outrage, disbelief, sadness and sleep deprivation. Most of our team had been up all night – either at the snap action held outside the conference centre as soon as news of Obama’s “accord” was released, or doing domestic media interviews and writing opinion editorials for Australia.

At 4pm the 21 members of our core team came together. Slowly, each person reflected on what the past 2 weeks had meant, and expressed their reactions to the outcome.
Continue reading ‘Monday Morning: What’s Left? What’s Next?’

AYCC Qantas Spoof Ad

This is basically Australia’s national song – and here is AYCC’s spoof with new lyrics and images. We’re up to over 30,000 votes and counting!

Mid-week campaign update: Youth Decide ’09

Check out this amazing mid week campaign update video, halfway through Youth Decide voting week! We’re up to over 26,000 votes and almost 5,000 people came to the concert last night in Melbourne’s Federation Square. Thanks to Ellen Sandell’s amazing video skillz.

Young Australians Decide the Future of the World

Youth Decide  22009-09-14

We all know polling booths strike fear into the hearts of politicians. Imagine their faces when they see over 330 climate polling booths and tens of thousands of online votes, organised by young people, for young people, this week, in the world’s first youth climate vote.

Less than half a day in to Youth Decide voting week we’re already at over 3,000 votes.

In 2005, students at the University of Sydney and Monash University held student referendums on whether the Universities should take stronger action on climate change. Both were hugely successful: at Sydney Uni, it was the tipping point in a year-long campaign that resulted in the University committing $1 million to renewable energy research and development. At Monash, the referendum caused the University to commit to reduce energy by 20%, purchase 20% greenpower, and employ new staff to run sustainability programs within the University.

Now, four years later, we’re holding Australia’s first national youth climate referendum. In fact, it’s the world’s first national youth climate vote. Young people aged 12 – 29 can vote to choose one of three worlds they wish to inherit. The worlds are based on the Government’s own climate change modelling, as well as the work of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. You can see them here.

With over 330 local voting events registered across every State & Territory, this is more than double per capita than the Step It Up day of action and it’s set to become the largest per capita youth climate mobilisation in the world. And we’re holding a huge Youth Decide concert this Wednesday in Federation Square with some of Australia’s best bands.

It’s not easy building a movement to solve climate change. We’re up against the stereotype that our generation doesn’t care about these issues – that young people don’t have anything to say, and that if we do, we should wait our turn until we’re old enough to be taken seriously. Youth Decide smashes this perception and sends a very clear campaign message to every politician – your targets = our future.

500 protestors, 22 Arrests at Australia’s Dirtiest Coal Power Station


This weekend saw a mass community protests at Hazelwood Power Station, in Victoria’s LaTrobe Valley. You can read The Age’s report of the action here, an Indymedia report here and see photos on Flickr here.

In 2005 a group of students at RMIT, Melbourne and Monash Universities led a campaign against the State Government’s decision to extend the life of the Power Station. Almost every week we staged protests outside cabinet meetings, and went up to Morwell for several actions, and meeting with the local council. But we lost, and Australia’s most polluting power station continued to operate. But the movement to shut down Hazelwood did not die – and in fact, these protests were bigger now than they were in 2005.

The Hazelwood power station, located near Morwell in the Latrobe Valley of Victoria, is Australia’s most polluting power station, pumping and average 17 million tons of greenhouse gases every year, equal to the total caused by all 1.4 million households in the state capital Melbourne.

Read on for some facts about Hazelwood…

Continue reading ‘500 protestors, 22 Arrests at Australia’s Dirtiest Coal Power Station’

Australian Youth Climate Coalition Targets Video

Aussie Youth Climate Cupcake Crusade

Federal MPs in Parliament House Australia were caught in a sticky situation today as youth climate campaigners presented them with “melting” cupcakes and a combined statement from young award leaders on the 1st anniversary of the “world’s first climate election”. Our cupcake action got a stack of national media, our team in Canberra spoke to heaps of MPs and did local media, and we DEFINITELY made an impact in Parliament House with our colourful cupcakes.

The cupcakes are decorated with the words “The ice-ing is melting!” and are to remind all MPs of the need for urgent and strong action on climate change.

The youth statement calls for strong 2020 carbon reduction targets written by 25 high-profile youth award winners including Nicole Keuper (2008 Eureka Prize People’s Choice Award), Larissa Brown (2008 Cosmopolitan Woman of the Year), Ellen Sandell (2008 Pride of Australia Medal), and Aaron Wood (2007 Prime Minister’s Environmentalist of the Year) and Alex Rafalowicz (Charles A.F. Hawker Scholar).

The statement says: “Let’s create a clean energy economy. Let’s show the world that Australians have the courage and initiative to get on with the job of saving the climate. In the process, let’s create the million new green-collar jobs that lie in wait for us in our clean energy future.”
“The current financial crisis presents our generation with an opportunity to re-visit the fundamentals of our economy. We want a ‘Green New Deal': a new economy based on clean technology and renewable energy. Investing in climate change solutions will sow the seeds of sustainable economic recovery and the next financial boom.”

Continue reading ‘Aussie Youth Climate Cupcake Crusade’

17 Year-Old High School Student Addresses Crowd of Thousands at Walk Against Warming

Thousands of Australians heard a passionate speech by 17 year-old high school student Sasha Hunt at yesterday’s Walk Against Warming in Sydney, Australia.

Having brought many of the Sydney crowd to tears, in her first public speech Sasha told the crowd that “We have the opportunity to create the changes that will sculpt the world in which we live.”

“Looming on the horizon is the destruction of my future,” Sasha said.

“It is by acting in unity that we will be able to divert our course from the horrors of climate change and avoid ever having to look into our children’s eyes and explain why we didn’t try harder.”

A Lismore High School student who finished her HSC just days ago, Sasha is a high schools organiser with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition.

She says that speaking at the climate change rally was one of the highlights of her life.

“It was an amazing experience speaking to that many people about climate change – an issue which I feel so passionately about.

“The fact that it’s now all across the papers and on the news has been overwhelming.”

Sasha volunteers from Lismore with the ‘Switched On Schools’ program is helping organise Power Shift 2009, a national youth climate summit for April next year.

Here’s the transcript of her speech:
Continue reading ’17 Year-Old High School Student Addresses Crowd of Thousands at Walk Against Warming’

AYCC Launches Targets Tag Team

A small group of young people from the Australian Youth Climate Coalition today confronted the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd at an event at NSW Parliament House in Sydney today, urging him to support strong carbon pollution reduction targets. Some held a banner reading “Your Targets = Our Future” at the back entrance as he walked in, getting in prime position in front of the media pack, and two of us dressed in suits and snuck inside to make our point in person! Altogether, the PM at this one event got three personal questions from 3 different young people on his targets, as well as the huge banner on his way in.

“Your Targets = Our Future” is the message resonating across Australia from the Australian Youth Climate Coalition’s ‘Targets Tag Team’ as they ask for carbon reduction targets of at least 40% by 2020.

In the next five weeks, the Federal Government will decide upon Australia’s medium term, 2020 carbon pollution reduction target. Kevin’s carbon reduction targets will influence Australia’s domestic and international climate policy for many years to come. It is crucial that his target is strong enough to ensure a safe climate future for our generation.

As the Prime Minister considers the 2020 carbon pollution reduction targets, the ‘Targets Tag Team’ will be at many events he attends, asking the question: ‘Will your target be bold enough to protect our future?’

Continue reading ‘AYCC Launches Targets Tag Team’