Young voices/Australia: “It’s the human impact”

Anica Renner, Australian School Strike activist

Filed by David Holmes. “It was an initial response from the personal experience that Climate Change has an impact on people’s personal lives and that is what lead me to read the IPCC report and other scientific knowledge.”, says Anica Renner (17).

Anica feels privileged to live in a city where she is primarily worried about how climate change will affect her in the future. – But there are people who are feeling the effects of climate change right now, especially Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people who are on the front lines of climate change. Also, people in rural and mining areas. I live in an urban area, so I’m not affected by it right now. But I do know, in January 2019, we had the hottest month Australia has experienced on record. That just shows that climate change is catching up to us now, it’s getting hotter and hotter. More heatwaves are happening, they are affecting especially elderly people and new-borns. It’s also affecting the economy, it affects so many different elements of our wellbeing and our lives. I could list it for 10 minutes. It affects how farmers can produce their stock and their livelihoods and how they can feed their families. It especially affects people living in rural and coastal areas.

As for the future, Anica thinks a societal shift is needed. – You need all the elements to change a society, so individuals need to make their own choices about how they consume energy, what energy provider they use. Whether they’re using coal fired power stations, wind energy or any other source of renewable energy but you also need people to come together and tell politicians that we need change now. You need all sorts of elements in society to come together to make that change. I don’t think any one of them can make that shift by themselves. I think you need different people in all different spheres of life doing what suits them best.

Anica Renner has been actively engaged in the Fridays for Future movement. She realizes, however, that not everyone can organise a strike. – Not everyone can come to the strikes. That’s okay, but we do need everyone to do everything they can; whether that’s consuming, whether that’s making decisions politically, whether that is voting differently. Or, if you are the head of a company, how you run that company, where you get your energy from, how you ethically use that, all these decisions are vital. Ultimately, Scott Morrison (the Australian PM) is just as much an individual as you or I are, we may not have the political power he does. However, he has the choice to make political decisions about how he makes the law. […] He needs to do it.