2012 Young Environmentalist of the Year Award

Dan Spencer

Dan Spencer is 22 years old and grew up in Adelaide.

While studying music at university, Dan became involved in the student environment movement and in 2010, left his studies to join the AYCC (Australian Youth Climate Coalition).

In December 2010 Dan joined the AYCC delegation to the UN Climate Conference in Cancun, Mexico. On the last night of the conference he helped to organise a youth based action focusing the world’s attention on the 21,000 climate change related deaths that year.

The experience of the conference, and in particular meeting delegates from communities at particular risk from climate change, left a real impression on Dan and galvanized his commitment to become a full time community campaigner.

In 2011, Dan became State Coordinator for AYCC in South Australia and set about strengthening and developing partnerships with community groups, campaigning for a price on carbon and working on a strategy for the Re-Power Port Augusta campaign.

As that campaign gained momentum, Dan decided to move to Port Augusta in July 2012 to concentrate on the community-based campaign for a solar thermal power plant to replace the region’s two aging coal fired power stations.

A community poll organized by Dan and the AYCC in 2012 saw 99% of the Port Augusta community vote for solar thermal as the preferred alternative to coal fired power.

Currently, Dan and some 80 walkers are nearing the end of the AYCC’s 300 km Walk-for-Solar trip from Port Augusta to Adelaide. The walk will culminate in a rally in Adelaide to support Port Augusta’s overwhelming desire to be a solar powered community.

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