Unleashing the power of music

Environmental song competition needs your vote.

You are invited to vote on 24 shortlisted songs which inspire action for climate and conservation – before 22 May 2022. 

“We hope to propel a few climate anthems into the mainstream and empower a diverse group of artists to activate their audiences,” said founder of Environmental Music Prize, Edwina Floch.  

“We are at a crucial moment in history. One that requires us to change our behaviour rapidly and move billions of people from apathy to action. What if we unleashed the power of music, to conquer hearts and minds and, in the process, inspired millions to defend the fragile ecosystems that sustain all life on earth?”

The Environmental Music Prize has selected a list of 24 finalists for the inaugural $20,000 prize – all are talented artists lending their voice and influence to help shift Australia towards a better future. 

From Australian icon Paul Kelly to 15-year-old songwriter Rory Phillips, from leading indie-pop heroes Jack River and Lime Cordiale, rock heroes Eskimo Joe and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, metal outfit In Hearts Wake and the children of Yothu Yindi, Aboriginal rock band King Stingray – the finalists highlight the immense passion Australians of all ages have for the environment. The full list of artists and songs can be found below.

Australia’s next climate anthem?

“We have all the science and the solutions we need, and a vast majority of the Australian people want action on the climate emergency. What matters now is putting the pressure on the politicians and the business leaders to act and we cannot underestimate the power of great songs to do just that,” said David Ritter, CEO of Greenpeace Australia, about the prize. 

Edwina Floch said she created the music prize when she realised there wasn’t a notable climate anthem. In the following twelve months, she received over 200 entries from both leading and emerging songwriters around the country, while she also secured partnerships with music bodies and environmental groups across the globe.

During the UN Climate Summit in 2021, the Environmental Music Prize was launched as a global first call-to-action for artists to create powerful music videos that celebrate nature and encourage us to defend it.

With the 24 songs in the running to receive the inaugural award, voting is now open to the public to select their favourite song and find Australia’s next climate anthem.

Voting closes midnight Sunday 22 May 2022.
Winners will be announced on Wednesday 25 May 2022.

→ Be inspired – vote here:

·         Watch these inspiring music videos

·         Vote for their three favourite songs

·         Build a playlist that make them reflect and take action



Briggs and Tim Minchin    HOUSEFYRE

Ciaran Gribbin    WHAT IF



Holy Holy    PORT ROAD


Jack River    WE ARE THE YOUTH


King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard    IF NOT NOW, THEN WHEN?

King Stingray    HEY WANHAKA

L-Fresh The Lion    MOTHER


Little Green    THE NIGHT



Rory Phillips    THE TRUTH

Sage Roadknight    VOICES

Small Island Big Song    TA’U TAMA

Tambah Project    OUR SONG

The Boy Of Many Colors, featuring Emily Wurramara    WHEN A TREE FALLS

Virtual Choir by The Bowerbird Collective    WORLD MIGRATORY BIRD DAY

“We need messages of hope – ones that touch us deeply, capture our imagination and enable us to dream big. By focusing the creative genius of many songwriters, singers, musicians and content creators on environmental issues, and by partnering with aligned organisations and community groups, we hope to propel a few climate anthems into the mainstream and empower a diverse group of artists to activate their audiences.”
~ Edwina Floch, Environmental Music Prize Founder

Listen to The Environmental Music Prize Earth Day Special on Outrage + Optimism – where Edwina Floch is interviewed by Christiana Figueres, former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change who led the successful 2015 Paris Climate Agreement and who is now the Chair of Prince William’s Earthshot Prize.


67% said their song was about climate change.
66% said their song was about the power of humans to create change.
49% said their song celebrated nature.

When asked what issues were close to their heart, this was how participants replied:
93% said climate change.
71% said deforestation.
71% said oceans.
67% said the treatment of animals.

92% said they were interested learning more and using their voice to highlight environmental issues.
96% said they would sign Green Music Australia’s ClimateDeclaration.
94% said they would take part in Green Music Australia’s campaigns to make the music industry more sustainable.


Rory Phillips: ‘The Truth’
“I co-wrote this song when I was 12 years old and released it as a 13-year-old in 2020. It was around the same time that Greta Thunberg (then aged 15) started her “School Strike for Climate” and her protests were gaining momentum and attention around the world.  I was so inspired by Greta, to see a young person making such a difference, such an impact, that I wanted to do something too. Music is the best tool I had, so I set out to write a song which stood for something.”

King Stingray: ‘Hey Wanhaka’
“The lorrpu (white cockatoo) holds great significance in Yolngu culture. But it extends far beyond just one animal – it’s a concept really; a way of life, a balanced life that is synonymous with caring for our environment and the relationship between humans and living creatures.

The ancient songline (lorrpu manikay) sung in this song represents nature celebration and the yolngu way of life, a way of life that is one with planet earth. In this song the lorrpu is sending out a message to the world and that is essentially what we’re doing in our own lives. We are advocates for change, and through our music we are having a platform to speak.

We are too, just like the lorrpu, sending a message to the world through music. We are story tellers and so is the lorrpu. It’s basically a cheeky and playful spin on nature celebration through a metaphor (the lorrpu / human relationship) and the connection to country that we have. It’s about knowing your roots, who you are, and the duty of care for country, caring for eachother and the role/responsibility we have to care for our environment.”

Jack River: ‘We Are The Youth’
“I wrote this song to express the anger and frustration of my generation in the face of government inaction on climate, First Nations peoples rights, and integrity. I also wrote it to celebrate the people who ARE standing up to our governments lack of action – and all of those people are quite young, and mostly women. They are people like Anjali Sharma, Chanel Contos, Grace Tame, Brittany Higgins and the leaders of the Black Deaths In Custody movement here in Australia.”

“Many artists have written about their love of nature or used their platforms to support a worthy cause. Individual actions are great, but there is strength and strategy in coming together. The Environmental Music Prize will bolster our work greening the music industry by attracting new artists and empowering them to use their cultural influence to speak up and sing out on climate. We are witnessing a wave of environmentalism. This exciting initiative will add more songs to the soundtrack and provide opportunities for artists to speak with a coordinated voice for maximum impact.”
~ Berish Bilander, CEO of Green Music Australia 


An impressive list of Impact Partners are backing this prize and will promote the songs and artists. They include: Green Music AustraliaGreenpeace AustraliaWilderness SocietyOcean Impact OrganisationAustralian Youth Climate CoalitionWorld Wildlife FundAPRA AMCOSUniversal Music AustraliaUnified Music GroupNEXUS AustraliaNEXUS Global, Music Victoria,  Green+Simple and Australian Progress as well as Australian Parents for Climate Action, Tomorrow Movement, School Strike 4 Climate, and Centre for Climate Safety.

Who selected the songs?
In its first year, the prize received over 200 entries reflecting a diverse range of musical styles from artists across the country. The finalists were selected by a pool of experienced music industry experts and environmental leaders including music ambassadors Montaigne, Anna Lunoe, Heidi Lenffer (Cloud Control), music industry experts (triple j, Double J, APRA AMCOS, Nightlife Music), and environmental champions from Greenpeace, WWF, Australian Youth Climate Coalition, Ocean Impact Organisation, Green Music Australia and School Climate Strikers.

Media coverage

The public is now invited to: 

·         Watch these inspiring music videos

·         Vote for their three favourite songs

·         Build a playlist that make them reflect and take action