The Australian Youth Climate Coalition

Federal Election 2013

Federal Election 2013


During the 2013 election the AYCC asked all politicians to aim higher on climate change.

1000s of volunteers from all across the country played a huge role in this election ensuring a record number of young people were enrolled to vote for the first time, asking people to vote on climate change policy, and pressuring all politicians to aim higher on climate.

We used the election as a moment to put climate change on the agenda for our politicians, demonstrate a mandate for action from the community, and build our movement. We gained national media attention with the loveable Nemo who was out on the campaign trail making sure both Tony Abbott and Kevin Rudd committed to protecting the Great Barrier Reef from new coal ports.

Aim Higher

During the 2013 election neither of the major parties have the policies we need to address the climate crisis. We need our politicians to aim higher on climate.

As young people we needed to make sure any candidate standing for the Australian parliament understood their responsibility to protect our future. That’s why we set up a new online tool to allow young people to directly connect with their candidates and ask them to “Aim Higher” on climate.

We sent 100s of texts and emails to politicians from all over the country with a strong message - ‘Aim Higher on climate change, our future is your mandate’


Nemo News

Nemo - that’s me! - hit the campaign trail this week, catching up with the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition as they spruik for votes around the country.

Reporting for The Coral Limited (to follow on Twitter: @thecorallimited) and the Daily Turtlegraph, I joined the press pack to ask a few questions of the future PM – whoever he may be – about how he will protect the Great Barrier Reef from certain destruction if the six coal ports planned along the coast go ahead, and the climate continues to warm.

Follow me as I file stories from the trail on this page – and on Twitter and Facebook – on the campaign trail to protect my home!

Nemo wants YOU to volunteer on election day
Tuesday 3 August 2013

Volunteer using the form on the right

Nemo says NO WAY to backflipping on emissions reduction target!
Monday 2 August 2013

I couldn’t believe my gills today when I heard Tony Abbott say the Coalition would only reduce emissions by 5% if they can afford it! I was already worried, because a 5% reduction target really isn’t enough to protect my home from the impacts of global warming. But now, I’m terrified! There’s so much talk about the economy and the budget and how much everything costs - but I think our precious Great Barrier Reef is priceless.

I’m more determined than ever to keep asking for commitments from both parties to protect my home - stop coal expansion, and take strong action to avoid dangerous climate change. We can’t afford not to act!

Nemo votes early, and votes climate!
Saturday 31 August 2013

This morning I headed down to an early voting centre with some friends from the AYCC - they are heading off to Everest to Climb It for Climate and will miss out on the excitement of election day. But there was no way they were going to miss out on voting for the climate, and voting to protect my home. Thanks friends!


Nemo and friends take the message to Rooty Hill in Western Sydney
Wednesday 28 August 2013

I had some help taking my call to protect the Reef from coal ports to the leaders’ debate at Rooty Hill tonight. Three of my best buddies came down from the Reef to join me outside the Rooty Hill RSL, where we asked again if the ALP or the Liberal Party would take a stand and promise to protect my home. Neither of them seemed to want to talk about it in the debate though… so I’ll keep on asking!

Nemo zeroes in on the Opposition’s Greg Hunt at Liberal Party launch
Sunday 25 August 2013

Sadly, the Liberal Party Campaign Launch today didn’t include any mention of how a Coalition government would protect my home. But I was there anyway, and managed to catch up with Greg Hunt for a quick chat. I’m still not happy that there are no promises or plans from the Coalition to protect my home from the coal ports!


Nemo joins thousands marching in Brisbane at Rally for the Reef
Brisbane, Sunday 25 August 2013

What a day! Today this little fish felt humbled and uplifted on the tide of people that took to the streets of Brisbane to demand that the Great Barrier Reef be protected. As many as 4000 people turned out to show our leaders how much the people love this national treasure, and it was an honour to walk with them today. Thank you everyone who turned out to protect my home!

Nemo turns up the heat on PM in sunny Brisbane
Friday 23 August 2013

With the campaign trail winding its way much closer to my home today, I caught up with the Prime Minister in Brisbane again. He seemed to think he had given me all the answers I need, but I’m still not satisfied that the reef is safe. I do appreciate the PM’s direct response to my questions, and I’m glad the reef is a priority for the government, but I still need to know that the answer is NO to coal ports!

Campaign secrecy increased as Nemo catches up
22 August 2013

Nemo asks the PM: how will you protect my home?
Torquay, 22 August 2013

Reporting for the Daily Turtlegraph isn’t always easy, and today I was blown about a long way from home to Torquay, on the Victorian coast. However, it was worth the journey from the Reef and the unfriendly weather in the middle of a press conference, the Prime Minister responded to the questions I was asking him about protecting my home, the Great Barrier Reef.

It’s great news that the Government is working to save my home from certain destruction, and I enjoyed the chat with the PM. But I still need some answers about those coal ports they need to be stopped, for the climate and for the reef!

Opposition Leader runs from Nemo’s questions
Sydney, 22 August 2013

Tony Abbott today took to his heels when I sought him out at a press event in Sydney. The Opposition Leader refused to respond to my questions about how a Coalition government would protect the Great Barrier Reef, despite his earlier promise that he would “sort it out”. Fortunately, I had a large painted reminder of the most important message about the reef, to remind Mr Abbott what I am there to ask! And until there are some answers from Tony Abbott, I will be sticking on the trail…

Mark Butler (Minister for Climate Change) meets Nemo on the trail with the PM
Torquay, 22 August 2013

I saw Mark Butler, Minister for Climate Change and the Environment, on the trail with Kevin Rudd in Torquay today. I took the opportunity to ask him how he was going to protect the Great Barrier Reef. I was pleased to hear that the Government has a plan and are aware of how important it is to protect the reef. However, I didn’t get a decisive “NO” to the coal port expansion from the Minister, so I will keep asking questions...

Nemo leads group of protestors outside the leaders’ debate
Brisbane, 21 August 2013

Momentum is really building in Brisbane in the lead up to the Rally for the Reef - even though the leaders’ debate didn’t provide the answers I need about protecting my home, I was so happy to be part of the gathering of committed campaigners outside the debate tonight. Together we can take our message to Mr Rudd and Mr Abbott: protect the reef!

Abbott promises Nemo he will ‘sort it out’
Geelong, 20 August 2013

Tony Abbott did his best to avoid my questions in Geelong today I think he was surprised to see my bright orange scales in amongst the grey and black of the press pack! He told me he would be protecting the Great Barrier Reef (hurray!) but couldn’t give me any details, so I’m still concerned. As he was leaving I waved goodbye and he wound down his window to tell me he would “sort it out”. Thanks Mr Abbott! But until you tell me how, and promise to stop the coal ports, I’m going to keep asking…

Vote on Climate

AYCC is non-partisan - we don’t support a particular party or candidate. However, we believe people deserve to know where the major parties stand on climate change action when they cast their vote.

In 2013, AYCC distributed over 100,00 climate scorecards that compared the climate policy of the major parties. AYCC volunteers were on the ground all across the country in the lead up to the Election, having conversations with Australians about climate change and about using their vote to support strong climate action.

We were also out in force on election day, handing out scorecards at polling booths as voters decided who will be making decisions about our climate future. 

The AYCC's Climate Scorecard

For more detail on our policy information and how we reached the above ratings, click here.