Young people have the most to lose from climate change, but the least say in how to fight it.
Right now, hundreds of thousands of young Australians aren’t being heard on this issue because they’ve never enrolled to vote. So, in the lead-up to the Victorian election, we’re supporting people aged between 17 and 24 to enrol.
The reason young people aren’t enrolling isn’t because they’re apathetic about political and social issues. It’s because they don’t see traditional politics as caring about what’s important to them.
But we know young people will turn out to vote when politicians focus on these issues. In the two weeks before the rolls closed on Australia’s marriage equality survey, for example, more than 60,000 people aged 16–24 enrolled to vote for the first time.
Oscar, first time voter in November’s state election, Frankston.
Our changing climate is one of the issues that concern young people. Research from Sustainability Victoria shows that people aged 15–24 are most likely to rate climate change among their top three concerns. The issue consistently tops surveys of younger generations around the globe.
Young people know we’re rapidly running out of time to prevent the worst impacts of runaway climate change. They know they’ll be the ones left dealing with the longer-term consequences if we fail to act.
That’s why we’re putting climate and intersecting youth issues at the centre of our work this election.
We’re supporting young people to get enrolled, to make sure their voice is heard in traditional electoral politics, and to stand up for our environment in their own unique way.
This is a new direction for Environment Victoria, so we’ll partner with youth organisations wherever possible. We’re also building a team of dynamic young volunteers to help run the campaign.
There was a lot at stake in the 2018 Victorian election, so we ran our biggest ever people-powered campaign.