By Lisa Tuck, Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC)
This July, roughly 2000 young people from across Australia will come together for Power Shift, the nation’s biggest climate action summit. Power Shift, which began in the United States in 2006 has become a global phenomenon and has since spread to Canada, NZ, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Ukraine, Belgium, Europe, Africa, India, Japan and parts of South Asia.
The Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC) first introduced Australia to Power Shift in 2009 with a conference in Sydney attended by around 1,500 young citizens, students and climate activists.Power Shift was last held in Brisbane in 2011.
This year, from the 13th – 15th of July, Melbourne will play host to the event which is expected to be the nation’s biggest yet. Just eight weeks from the federal election, Power Shift is being held at a crucial time for youth to influence politicians and put climate action back on the nation’s agenda.
Power Shift 2013 is open to all Australians aged under 35 and will include prominent speakers such as James Hanson, Tim Flannery, Robyn Eckersley, Bill McKibben, Anna Rose and Sam Mclean. Additionally, Power Shift will feature a political Q&A and various workshops surrounding issues such as social justice, activism, communication techniques, and the need to transition away from fossil fuels.
With the earth fast approaching dangerous tipping points, it is time to take strong and decisive action on climate change. With scientific consensus clearly outlining the need to invest in the transition to renewable energy sources, Power Shift will provide an opportunity for young Australians to come together and demonstrate their passion and commitment to the issue.
Power Shift has been described as a life changing experience and according to many young Australians, attending a Power Shift summit was pivotal in their decision to become involved in the fight against climate change.
With around 2.2 billion of the earth’s population under 18, it is the youth who will face the consequences of impending climate change. However, this also means that young people have a unique opportunity to transition the world into a more sustainable and environmentally friendly place. Not only do youth have the right and need to tackle climate change, they also have much to offer. This will be made clear during Power Shift 2013!