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Environmental Advocacy Paper

12 Aug 2020 - Y CommunityY Youth

The Y NSW Forward Thinking- Social Impact Project is an Online Leadership Program for young people across New South Wales.

Supported by NSW Government's Youth Opportunities Grant, the project has been working with over 50 young people, providing training in leadership and personal development.

This Advocacy Paper is a call to action for the Government to consider alternative and sustainable energy options.

31st July 2020

To Y NSW Youth Leadership Team.

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce ourselves, we are the Y NSW Environmental Youth Leadership Group. This group is made up of passionate young people from across NSW who are concerned about our environment and are wanting to make a difference. We came together though the Y NSW Online Leadership Project funded by Youth NSW Youth Opportunities grant.

We are writing to you in order to enlist your help in rectifying the degradation of our Australian environment and safeguarding it for the future. The Y NSW Environmental Youth Leadership Group strives to amplify and represent the voices of all young people in matters pertaining to the environment and as the youth of today and the leaders of tomorrow, we believe that holistic social change is needed. We are incredibly passionate about seeing a widespread shift to more environmentally sustainable and renewable resources as the current standards and mechanisms are inducing serious long-term damage to Australia’s natural sphere.

As you would know renewable energy is produced using natural resources that are constantly replaced and never run out; these are sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat. Renewable energy technology enables electricity, heat and fuel to be created from the natural resources. Solar, wind, hydro, wave and bioenergy technologies are all powered by the sun – directly or indirectly.

Unlike solar power, fossil fuels are formed by combusting hydrocarbons obtained from the Earth. These hydrocarbons are non-renewable resources, meaning they are finite in supply and will eventually run out. The process of burning fossil fuels producing large amounts of carbon dioxide greatly contributes to the alarming issue of climate change and global warming. Coal mines are also destructive of animal habitats, green spaces and pollute our waterways.

Human society is full of inspirational innovation and inventions which serve to make our community safer. For example, street lights have become an integral part of our lives, lighting our paths as we walk and drive home, they help us on a daily basis and are prevalent in most areas whether it be built up towns, cities, CBDs and multiple other connecting roads in between. These street lights ensure the safety of us as humans and it is our duty to ensure the safety of our environment by using renewable resources. If we were to continue using electricity to power these lights we will be living in a dystopia where each year, we face a steady increase in temperature. A large majority of street lights run off electricity which is commonly gained from fossil fuels. However, studies have discovered the use of solar power will result in 80% less carbon emissions than fossil fuels. Through the use of solar lights, it will allow for an eco-friendlier alternative to be used as it is a renewable source. Solar is a natural resource provided to us by the sun that is inexhaustible, sustainable and a non-polluting source of energy.

It is our responsibility to diverge from a strong focus on economical return and shift towards an appreciation for our environment, ensuring it is nurtured so future generations are able to experience the natural world in its entirety as we have. Renewable energy is the right way and the only way to lead our country into a prosperous future. It reduces the human impact on climate change, makes life on Earth more enjoyable for us all and most importantly, its technology is rapidly improving, waiting eagerly for us to utilise it.

We hope you will support us in this endeavour to be more ecologically friendly and sustain life on Earth by financing renewable energy initiatives in your community such as solar panels and raising awareness about the issue.

Initiating change starts now. If it isn’t you or me then who? If it isn’t now, when? Are you willing to risk our home?

Lead the change and change will follow. Thank you for taking the time to read this letter.

Kind Regards

On Behalf of The Y NSW Environmental Youth Leadership Team

Cathy Guion
YMCA Y NSW Environmental Youth Leadership Team Facilitator              0403 498 322


NOTICE: Any views expressed in this communication are those of the individual sender, except where the sender specifically states them to be the views of the YMCA. The Y NSW Leadership Teams are young people who are supported by the YMCA to deliver projects important to them.

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