On Wednesday 3rd of August we delivered over 70 ‘Letters of Hope’ from young people across the country to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese at Parliament House! The first sitting weeks of the new Parliament were a powerful moment to centre the voices of young people in the fight to stop fossil fuel expansion, and build positive engagement with MPs from across the political spectrum.
- 📝 Showcased and strung up 70+ letters, photos and polaroids from young people across the continent calling to end fossil fuel expansion
- 📣 Centred the voices of young people in the fight for climate justice with AYCC Canberra volunteer Mirah Larkin sharing her story of living through climate impacts (see the image below!)
- 🎤 Held a successful press conference with Labor MP for Canberra Alicia Payne, Independent MP for Kooyong Dr Monique Ryan, Independent Senator David Pocock, and ACT Greens Minister for the Environment Rebecca Vassarotti attending and speaking
- ✍🏽 Had Dr Monique Ryan, David Pocock and Rebecca Vassarotti sign our Climate Justice Pledge for no new coal, oil or gas
- 🎥 Reached over 16 million people with our message for no new fossil fuels through media attention - including on the Guardian live blog, on TV with 7 News Canberra; and online in the Australian, news.com.au, Canberra Weekly, and the West Australian.
- 📬 Hand delivered the letters to Labor MP Alicia Payne to pass onto to Prime Minister Albanese. She shares with the rest of Parliament about the letters we gave her - watch here!
- 🚀 Were reported in HANSARD - Greens MP Stephen Bates quoted us and elevated our action in his Parliamentary Speech on the Climate Change Bill 2022. Watch it here!
This wouldn’t have been possible without young people across the country writing to Prime Minister Albanese calling for no new fossil fuels.
There is still a long way to go before we have a Government that implements the bold, ambitious solutions we need for climate justice. The first critical step for the Albanese Government is to ensure there is no new public money for fossil fuels in the October Budget. Together we are demanding this government tackle the number one cause of climate change.
Change happens because everyday people like you and I choose to act. These Letters of Hope to Prime Minister Albanese have been amplified across the nation with a clear message - we cannot put out the fire while adding fuel to the flames.
PS. Did you write a letter? You can find your letter below (these are the ones that survived the Parliament Lawn rain damage!)
Budget Night: Young people call on Government to “Fund Our Future Not Gas” in candle-lit message at Parliament
While Treasurer Josh Frydenberg was announcing the 2021-22 Federal budget, young volunteers from the Australian Youth Climate Coalition spelled out their candle-lit message to the Government on Parliament lawn: “Fund Our Future, Not Gas”.
“Young people will be paying the bill of this Federal Budget for decades, whilst simultaneously living through worsening climate change impacts. We are calling on the Treasurer not to exacerbate the climate crisis for our generation by giving publicly-funded handouts to dangerous gas,” Alex Fuller, National Director of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition said.
“Last night, we sent the Government a clear message: “Fund Our Future, Not Gas”. We will not stand by while this Government sells out our future to prioritise the fossil fuel industry. Young people deserve a fighting chance for a safe climate future: a gas-led recovery will intensify the climate crisis and endanger our future, while forcing us to pay the bill,” she said.
Gas is fueling the climate crisis but the Morrison Government is pouring billions of dollars into subsidising and expanding the gas industry.
“First Nations communities, young people and communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis are leading the resistance to the Government’s gas-led recovery. It’s time for the Government to listen,” Ms Fuller said.
“Recovering from COVID-19, the Government had an unprecedented opportunity to invest in climate solutions: quickly transitioning to 100% renewable energy and investing in creating jobs that care for the climate and our communities. Instead, by funding a gas-led recovery, the Government has failed our generation,” Ms Fuller concluded.
This generation will not wait - the youth climate movement responds to the Federal election announcement.
With Scott Morrison having just announced the date of the Federal election, the youth climate movement is mobilising to make sure action on climate change is the number one issue this election.
Thousands of volunteers from the Australian Youth Climate Coalition and School Strike 4 Climate are gearing up for five weeks of grassroots actions, youth enrolment, voter conversations and online pressure.
Gemma Borgo-Caratti, National Director of the AYCC said “For too long, the undue influence of the fossil fuel lobby has defined our political response to climate change. But now, young people have changed the game. This is the climate election.”
“Led by young people, Australians everywhere are demanding nothing less than ambitious climate action in line with the science. That means leaving fossil fuels in the ground and supercharging the switch to 100% renewable energy,” Gemma said.
School Strike 4 Climate organiser Aisheeya Huq, 16, from Western Sydney said “Climate change is the most important issue for young people. Our generation is terrified of the kind of world we’re going to inherit. If it’s this hot now, imagine how hot the world will be for us and our kids? Politicians backing coal are robbing us of a future. That’s why more and more school students are getting organised and fighting back. We can’t vote yet but we’ll asking any adult who cares about our future to vote for climate action.”
Together, young people everywhere are standing strong for action on climate change. Our demands of any political party serious about protecting our future are:
Stop Adani’s coal mine
100% renewables by 2030
No more coal or gas projects
Having already supported hundreds of new voters to get on the electoral roll this year, AYCC will spend final days up to the enrolment cut-off having thousands more conversations and driving a social media storm to make sure that every young person has the opportunity to vote for their future.
Meanwhile, school strikers and AYCC volunteers across the continent are gearing up for a huge day of action on May 3, where thousands will take part in creative actions outside MP and candidate offices in almost every electorate.
“We are fired up to make sure that this election is determined by climate policy in every seat. You can’t have a legit climate policy if you don’t address coal. That starts with stopping Adani - which neither major party has committed to yet,” Gemma Borgo-Caratti said.
“We will be out in force in every electorate, at every press conference, and every community forum to demand these so-called leaders protect our future from climate damage.
“Politicians need to go back to school and learn how to treat each other, and their constituents with respect, understand science and then work together to solve this climate crisis,” concluded Ms Borgo-Caratti.
School students and Stop Adani movement fired up to fight for climate justice after occupying Parliament House foyer for 2 hours
Following the occupation of the Parliament House foyer in Canberra today, 100 people, including school students who will continue to strike after the Summer holidays, have pledged to do whatever it takes to stop Adani’s coal mine and fight for climate justice and protect the places we love. They will continue to build the momentum on Saturday with the March for our Future bringing together thousands of citizens in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
Gemma Borgo-Caratti, Director of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition said: “Where there’s a political will, there’s a way - and we’re going to find that way to force our fence-sitting politicians who are complicit in destroying our climate to commit to stopping Adani’s dangerous, climate-wrecking coal mine.”
“Australia is seeing the impacts of mining and burning fossil fuels right now. The day that Adani announced they were bankrolling their own mine, Queensland was literally on fire. This is not the future our generation wants to inherit” Tully Bowtell-Young, 14 year old from Townsville said.
Millie Telford, Director of the Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network said “Together we heard from those on the frontlines of climate change - First Nations people, school students, Pacific Islanders and more. We are all demanding leadership where our politicians are failing to protect our future.”
- Politicians commit to phasing out coal and gas exports, starting with stopping Adani’s coal mine
- A rapid and fair transition to 100% renewable energy by 2030
- Land rights strengthened including Free Prior and Informed Consent, so that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people get the final say over what happens on their country
“With Adani securing finance and bullying their way into starting construction by Christmas - the urgency of political action to stop this mine is paramount. We are not going anywhere.
“It’s a sad day for democracy when school students get kicked out of Parliament and the Prime Minister won’t answer students’ calls to meet about the greatest threat to their generation: climate change. We are going to keep fighting to shake up our political system so that our politicians represent us rather than destructive coal companies like Adani,” Gemma Borgo-Caratti said.
“Young people are here fighting for their lives and our Prime Minister thinks that we’re not smart enough to understand political power. But this action, and the school strike showed we can make the whole nation listen if we want,” high school student Nosrat Fareha said today.
Those in the foyer today are just a small part of the nationwide movement who’s going to cause political pain to anyone who sits on the fence or actively supports Adani’s coal mine.
“Every event, every press conference, every ballot box - we’ll be there forcing you to explain why you think a few corporate dollars are worth more than our future. We will stop Adani’s coal mine and all new coal.” Gemma said
The group was joined in the foyer by senior leaders from environment NGOs (350.org, GetUp, Greenpeace and the Sunrise Project).
"GetUp members and volunteers across the country are determined to make climate change and stopping Adani’s mine the number one election issue until Labor gets off the fence and commits to stopping Adani. We’re in a climate emergency and we won’t stop until Labor acts like it,” GetUp! Environmental Justice Director Sam Regester said.
“Young people are left out of the decision making process when our future is on the line - it only makes sense for us to come to the halls of power and make our reasonable demands,” Gemma Borgo-Caratti concluded.
The peaceful protest occupied the foyer space for close to two hours, before participants were removed by police.
For media enquiries contact Alex Fuller on 0437 316 331 or [email protected]