WHILE most people are consumed with thoughts of cake and presents on their birthday, for Luke McGreevy climate change was the most pressing concern.
Mr McGreevy, who turned 23 last Monday, will be part of a delegation of young people attending the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in November.
Global warming has long been an issue the Hughesdale resident has been passionate about. His interest — and concern — was piqued when he was in biology class in his final year of high school.
"It really started to hit home what was actually going to happen, that it wasn't something that was imagined," he said.
By the time he started his arts and science degree at Monash University, Mr McGreevy became convinced climate change would be a problem his generation would inherit. "I really wanted to get involved in whatever way I could to just see if we could make a change."
He applied to non-profit organisation Global Voices and was selected from hundreds of applicants to be part of its youth delegation to the convention on climate change. At the end of this year, Mr McGreevy will travel to the convention in Qatar, meet the Australian delegation and sit in on negotiations.
He told the Weekly that he hoped to make the talks relevant to Australian youth. "As a young person, it's very difficult to work out if you have power to make change. When all the decisions are made by politicians . . . it's very difficult to work out how you can get your voice heard.
"There are a lot of young people out there who realise that we need to do something and are very passionate about getting something done. There are definitely ways to do it, but you need to work out how to inform young people that they have power to do so."
Mr McGreevy said Australia's role in the negotiations was essential.
What do you think? Post a comment below.