Free scoops of ice cream have been handed out to university students all across Australia this month, as Ben & Jerry’s teamed up with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC) to speak to young Australians about climate action.
Together they visited select university campuses in Queensland, New South Wales, and the Australian Capital Territory, to encourage students to check they are enrolled to vote for this upcoming federal election.
“The desired outcome is to get as many young Australians enrolled to vote, because their vote can really make a difference,” said Kent Hildred, Ben & Jerry’s Social Mission Manager.
In the last election, an estimated 254,432 eligible 18-24 year-olds weren’t enrolled to vote, and with the most marginal seat having won by just 32 votes, the AYCC handed out free scoops of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to make sure every vote counts.
“We really believe that the climate action policies are beyond urgent, it’s getting really desperate now,” said Hildred. “It’s more important than ever for these 18 to 24 year olds to really step up and get involved.”
According to a youth study by Vice in 2018, 43 percent young Australians are more concerned about the environment and climate change than any other global issue.
Just two weeks ago, nearly 30,000 students took the day off school to protest for lack of action against the climate change. The strike was led by a campaign to stop the Adani coal mine and all new fossil fuels, and to transition to 100 percent renewables by 2030.
Hildred says it’s important that the younger generation direct their attention to climate change and get educated, and to then make climate change action one of the number one considerations when they’re casting their vote in the next federal election.
Recent findings by the UN have found that there is only 11 years, or less, left to prevent irreversible damage from climate change.
Alex Pan, NSW School’s Coordinator, and volunteer for the AYCC, says young people are the ones that are going to be overwhelmingly affected by the effects of climate change.
“That’s why our current government needs to represent this, they need to reflect proper climate policy and care about our future,” said Pan.
Saturday May 11 is looking to be the most likely date for the 2019 federal election, the Australian reports.