top of page
  • Writer's picture2022 Global Voices Fellow

Engaging Western Australian Youth in Climate Governance

By Tiffany Verga, Curtin University, UNFCCC, 2020

Tiffany Verga is a Curtin University student studying a Bachelor of Commerce/Arts (Journalism and Marketing). Her Policy Paper discusses Engaging Western Australian Youth in Climate Governance.

Executive Summary

As the impact of climate change intensifies, Australian youth1 have joined their global counterparts in demanding increased government action. This has been evident through movements such as the “Schoolstrike4climate” campaign where students skipped school to demand action from the Morrison government (Young, 2021). In May 2021, youth’s vested interest in climate action was further demonstrated when eight teenagers launched a class action in the Federal Court giving rise to a common law duty that the Minister for Environment must protect future generations against the impacts of climate change (Slezak 2021). However, despite recent successes, youth voices have often failed to be legitimised and heard, a sentiment voiced by climate activist Greta Thunberg (Harvey, 2019). Even with commitments to involve youth in the implementation of the Paris Agreement, such as signing the Kwon Gesh Climate Pledge in 2019 (United Nations, 2019), there is still much to be left desired to ensure youth feel their concerns have been heard and the barriers to accessing political leaders and a climate education are reduced.

Consequently, this paper aims to recognise barriers regarding youth involvement in government and climate decisions and provide an appropriate policy solution to reduce these issues for Western Australian (WA) youth. It recommends introducing a ‘WA Youth Climate Internship Program’ (WAYCIP) for youth between 18-24, facilitated by the WA Department of Water and Environmental Regulation and the WA Local Government Association (WALGA). This program would directly involve youth in local government climate policy processes to address knowledge gaps, provide experiences, job skills and networks. As a result, youth will be provided greater accessibility to government and environment leaders alongside a greater understanding of the climate and environmental issues facing.

14 views0 comments


bottom of page