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.