An estimated 80,000 people attended the Global Climate Strike in Sydney on 20 September. Millions across the world did the same. This sent a powerful message to business and political leaders that not enough is being done to protect the planet’s future.
So what actions can you take in the aftermath to truly make a difference?
1. Choose 100% GreenPower
To help Australia transition to 100% renewable energy by 2030, you can opt for a GreenPower-based electricity plan.
When you opt for an accredited GreenPower electricity plan, you encourage your energy provider to invest in renewable energy, like solar and wind farms. The money you spend on your electricity gets more renewably sourced power into the grid. The government-led GreenPower program also guarantees what you’re paying for meets stringent environmental standards.
Use the Green Electricity Guide to find a good electricity provider. Or simply call your current provider and ask them to switch you to their GreenPower plan for what you’re paying now or less. Don’t be afraid to negotiate.
Heads-up: Energy providers call their GreenPower plans different things (like green energy), and their websites can be confusing. But pretty much all providers sell them.
2. Connect with others
Australian Youth Climate Coalition organiser Grace Vegesana, 19, believes young people need to come together in their communities to fight for climate justice.
“We need to build a powerful movement of young people to run campaigns and solve the climate crisis at a systematic level,” Grace said. “It’s about being around people they can build longer-term connections with. There are opportunities across the city to get involved in campaigning and strategic planning.”
Check out these groups:
- Australian Youth Climate Coalition
- Australian Student Environment Network
- Seed - Australia’s first Indigenous youth climate network
- 1 Million Women
- Sydney Uni Enviro Collective
- UTS Enviro Collective
- UNSW Environment Collective
“Climate change is terrifying for a young person. We need to change the ways our systems work and make sure young people and those at the front lines of climate change are being heard,” Grace said.
3. Conversations and letter writing
“We really want action,” Luca Saunders, 14, said.
“It’s really just about people focusing on individual MPs in their area – writing letters and in-person meetings.
“It’s also about spreading awareness about the climate crisis – trying to change the way people think.”
The Climate Council, for instance, helps explode myths around renewables and fossil fuels.
Keen to flex your letter writing skills? The below are some useful links. You could ask questions such as, What is the plan to achieve Australia’s net zero target?
4. Support businesses taking climate change action
Find out if the financial institutions where you invest your savings and super are actively hindering climate change action. If they’re funding projects such as coal mines, you might consider divesting – taking your funds out and investing in businesses that want to make a difference. Market Forces helps you compare banks, super funds, insurance companies and more.
The City of Sydney supports greater action on climate action. We continue to reduce our energy use towards our aim of being carbon neutral, and will be switching to 100% renewable electricity next year.