We, as young people, will inherit the consequences of the decisions being made by world leaders at the United Nations summit this December.
All young people have the right to a safe climate future, and we deserve a say in what it looks like. Together we have the power to create a safe future for us all. Start by having your say today!
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Hey, my name is Jerome and I’m in year 11 at Saint Ignatius College in Sydney. I care about climate change because I care about the environment and can see the impacts climate change is already having on the land and communities I care about. Acting now means reducing this impact on the people and places I love.
I have always had a connection to the environment and I think that it is clearly evident to everyone that the environment is being destroyed. Over the past decade I have visited my aunt’s cattle farm out near Armidale in Northern NSW most holidays and I have noticed that water is becoming a precious resource due to drought.
Last year, the cattle had to be moved to fewer paddocks because there was not enough water to sustain all of them. Just recently I was camping out near the farm and you can see the impact of drought on the land, and the people who live there. The communities who rely on regular rain for their incomes are gradually having to move off the land where many families have been farming for hundreds of years.
And unfortunately, it’s not just families like mine that are being affected, but communities around the country, and the world. Recently I found out about the communities and countries in the Pacific Islands that are being forced from their homes because of rising sea levels. It’s so unfair to me that people around the world who have either contributed so little to global warming, or who are trying to provide food for the rest of the country are being so badly affected. This destruction of communities, land and countries will have irreversible effects if it is allowed to go on for much longer.
There are many examples of the degrading environment around us, all we need to do is just look. To fix it we have to work together as one, using resources around us to protect what we love. And young people have the power to do this – if we work together.
Hi there, my name is Marie and I am a Year 10 student living in Wollongong on the NSW south coast. I care about climate change because if we act now, communities like mine have the opportunity to benefit from a transition to clean, green energy sources- from the sun and wind.
The Illawarra region, where I live, is changing. For as long as I can remember, people in my community have worked in jobs that are linked to Wollongong’s port, steel works and coal mines. These jobs have kept the community going for a long time. In the last few years though, I have noticed that the places where people used to work are changing.
In September, a local coal mine, Russell Vale, was suspended, which caused the loss of 80 mining jobs including electricians, operators and fitters. Some of those employees were the parents of students at my school and as a result, they have been forced to relocate to other areas in Australia to find jobs. And it’s not just them. Lots of jobs in the local steel works have been lost too. This is having a big impact on my community.
Our current situation may feel hard to comprehend and impossible to solve but there are many
innovative solutions. I don’t think that the people who have lost their jobs should have to move away from the Illawarra to find work. By converting industries to renewable resources or creating more secure jobs that don’t impact our environment in such a negative way, we can ensure we provide secure and stable jobs, for me and my friends, and our whole community for the long term.
We don’t want to continue to feel the social and environmental impacts of climate change. We want a future that is not impacted by worsening extreme weather events like heat waves in summer, unusually high temperatures in Winter, and long dry periods, increasing the risk of bushfires. Instead, we want a safe climate, healthy community and a brighter future. As the leaders of tomorrow, we think we can do it, with a little help from the leaders of today.
Galangoor Dhjali (Good day). I am a proud Butchulla Aboriginal woman from Fraser Island (K’gari), I am 17 and I live north of Brisbane, in Queensland. I care about climate change because for Indigenous Australians, including myself, the impacts of climate change are being widely felt – from rising sea levels in the Torres Strait, to the loss of sacred country nationwide. Acting now means protecting my culture and my community.
Being of Aboriginal descent, the land is a part of my history – and a part of me. My ancestors who walked before me lived on this land sustainably for tens of thousands of years. We have a proud history of protecting the land. Despite this though, we are amongst the first and worst impacted by climate change. One of the big impacts we are already experiencing is the loss of our song lines which is distorting our dreamtimes which are irreplaceable, and a big part of our identity and my culture.
For me, I feel the impacts of climate change – not just as an Aboriginal woman, but as a young person. Climate change is affecting my local community annually. In the last 5 years, we have seen major flooding, a category 5 cyclone and bushfires. Not only did my family and I lose almost everything we had due to flooding, we are also gradually losing parts of the magical coastline I have grown up next to.
Growing up, I remember jumping around in the mangroves, shucking oysters from the rocks and teasing my sisters with soldier crabs. Each year though, the intensity of cyclones, flooding and king tides has increased and gradually big changes have happened. The mangroves that I used to jump off have now been washed away, the rocks where I once collected oysters are now underwater, and I haven’t seen soldier crabs on the beach in years.
That’s why I’m involved with the Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network, because I believe that young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can work together to create a more just and sustainable world for our people. By making my voice heard, and shining a light on these impacts we have the opportunity to address these problems now, and make sure we don’t continue to be affected first and worst by the climate crisis.
Temperature increases by 2030
To limit warming to 1.5 degrees we would need to innovate, luckily…
At 1.5 degrees of warming the impacts would be bad, but farmers can benefit if we act now.
To limit warming to 1.5 degrees we could provide opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
To keep warming to 2 degrees, we would have to innovate but existing damage could worsen.
Warming to even 2 degrees makes farming really hard and food more expensive.
Warming to even 2 degrees would damage the places and animals I love.
3 degrees of warming would cost communities and our country.
3 degrees of warming would be dangerous for our food security and our lives.
At 3 degrees of warming disadvantaged communities would be worst impacted.
Temperature increases by 2030