Young people act on climate change

October 21, 2006

Around the country, campus and high-school environment activists are focusing on getting young people to participate in the November 4 Walk against Warming international day of action on climate change.

In Sydney, Rose Bay Secondary College (RBSC) student and Resistance activist Nabil El Malti brought the issue to a school assembly. El Malti told Green Left Weekly that by October 18, 20 students at his school had signed up to participate in the event.

"If we want change we have to take action now", he said. "As the next generation, we need to have our voices heard and challenge the Howard government's support for the coal and nuclear industries. We want an end to greenhouse emissions and a conversion to green and renewable energy sources!"

The newly formed RBSC environmental committee is working to organise a school contingent in the march.

Hobart Resistance member Mel Barnes told GLW that the organising collective for the Walk against Warming rally in her city was overwhelmingly made up of young people.

"We're doing a bus blitz where we'll leaflet and talk to everyone getting on and off buses during morning and afternoon peak hour in the central bus mall", she said. Hobart Resistance members will be staging street theatre actions and banner-drops to publicise the rally.

Barnes said: "We know that the overwhelming majority of young people are deeply concerned about global warming and environmental destruction. We need to convince these young people to not only voice this concern at the Walk against Warming rallies, but to become active in ongoing activist committees to force the government to act to stop climate change."

She welcomed the proposal to form an Australian Youth Climate Coalition. The AYCC is to hold its founding conference in Melbourne on November 20-22, according to a media statement issued on October 19. An organising collective for the conference was set up on September 27, with participants from the Australian Student Environmental Network, OzGreen and the Melbourne University climate collective.

The October 19 AYCC statement pointed out: "Climate change is quickly becoming the hottest issue for campus organising, and youth are poised to lead the way once again. A major united effort from Australian youth organisations now could unleash tremendous grassroots energy towards making local, state and national change... It's not too late to turn the political tide in Australia but we need your voice, your energy, and your body in action to do it."

For more information on the AYCC founding summit, visit <>.

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