“It’s the Climate Change Election” Billboard
Client: Environment Victoria
Environment Victoria is based in Melbourne and is an independent not-for-profit organization that has been campaigning on environmental issues since 1969. They now focus on campaigning for a safe climate, healthy rivers, and sustainable living.
In 2019, following the intense 2018–2019 Australian bushfire season, Environment Victoria asked me to design them a billboard that would remind citizens to vote in the Australian federal election for candidates that would take serious action on climate change. The billboard declared the election as “the climate change election” and featured three photos to depict a simple narrative. The first photo was of firefighters fighting a raging bushfire. The second photo was of a firefighter walking through a burnt forest. And the third photo was of a firefighter voting at a polling booth. The final billboard was installed at a prominent site on the Nepean Highway in Melbourne, and seen by many thousands of people.
“…the 2022 election has been called a “greenslide” due to an unprecedented number of climate-concerned Green and teal independent candidates being elected…”
Fast forward to the results of the 2022 Australian federal election, and one might think that calling the 2019 federal election “the climate change election” was premature. This is because the 2022 federal election has been called a “greenslide” due to an unprecedented number of climate-concerned Green and teal independent candidates being elected, and the pro-coal Coalition (of the Liberal and National parties) losing government. However, this would be a mistake, as data analysis has shown that the relationship between climate concern and the swing of electorates against the Coalition was actually much stronger in 2019 than it was in 2022. So, it seems that the 2022 election swing against the Coalition may have been more the result of an accumulation of many factors, rather than simply due to climate concerns. And that the 2022 election result was the effect of a swing that was already well underway back in 2019, but simply did not result in a Coalition election loss back then.
Although, I do find this data analysis surprising given that since 2019 Australia has suffered from multiple extreme weather events that were likely at least partly fueled by climate change. From the devastating “Black Summer” bushfires resulting in an estimated three billion animals being displaced or killed, to the more recent extreme flooding throughout Queensland and New South Wales that has been called “one of the most extreme disasters in Australian colonial history.” It would seem as though climate should have been more important to the election result than what the data analysis suggests.
Regardless, it was an honour to use my design skills to help the team at Environment Victoria create this fantastic billboard to promote voting for climate action. In the future, we can only hope that even more citizens vote for stronger climate action in elections, and that even more electoral candidates and political parties make taking stronger climate action a core part of their policy platforms.
Find out more about Environment Victoria at environmentvictoria.org.au.
Communications Manager: Greg Foyster, Environment Victoria.
Art Direction & Design: Jarren Nylund, Design Good Design Studio.