Young adults are being urged by under-18s and celebrities to sign up to vote so they can use the power of the ballot box to tackle the climate and nature crises.
The call comes after the Electoral Commission reveals that a third of young people are not registered to vote, with only 66% of 18 to 19-year-olds and 68% of those aged 20-24 correctly signed up.
Students who are too young to vote are helping launch #ItsOurTime, a politically neutral campaign which aims to motivate young people concerned about climate change to sign up before the registration deadline on November 26.
Celebrities including bands The Foals and The Editors, Radio 1 DJ Clara Afomo, and actor Alex Lawther have also been urging fans and followers to register as part of the campaign.
YouTube star Jack Harries said there were millions of young people across the country who were concerned about climate change but were not registered to vote. He said:
We’ve been told we only have 11 years to radically transform our society to tackle climate change and whoever gets into power will be there for 5 years.
So this is the climate election. If you’re 18 or over and not yet registered to vote, please consider doing so because all of our futures rely on it.
Under-18s from the Birmingham Student Climate Network (SCN) are taking to the streets this weekend to demand action on rising temperatures and encourage those old enough to register.
More than 300 flower pots with seedlings will create a “guerrilla” garden in the city centre, spelling out “Act Now” and labelled with pleas from the youngsters that the future is in adults’ hands and they should register to vote.
Projections of rising tides are also appearing in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Belfast, Cardiff, Newport and Southampton, to highlight the climate crisis and the need to urgent action as part of the campaign.
Aaron Smith, 17, from Birmingham Student Climate Network said:
I want to live in a world where I can breathe clean air and enjoy wildlife in my back garden.
It’s my future that’s on the line. That’s why I’m calling on everyone to register to vote now so that they can decide what my future holds.
Erin Curtis, 16, from Scottish Youth Climate Strike, said:
The climate crisis is the single biggest issue facing our society, and time is running out to do something about it.
The politicians we elect today have the power to take action in order to protect tomorrow.
At my age I don’t get a say in UK elections, but I strongly urge anyone over 18 to register to vote. You have the power to change the status quo, and I really hope you use it.
We need your help ...
The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.
Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.
We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.
Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?