At 15 years of age, Dylan McCarthy from Wentworth Falls admits that government inaction on climate change is keeping him awake at night.
But in his waking hours, he is trying to do something about the problem that is killing the planet's diversity of life.
Dylan says he had "always been interested in animals and the environment" and in Year 7 joined the Environment Collective group at Katoomba High School. Later he "had a feeling all the stuff we were doing" - like buying a sheep to save it from animal trade - "wasn't actually helping the environment in any significant way".
A teacher running the Collective mentioned climate scientists had worked out the minimum environmental targets that were needed and there had been election promises on the issue.
"I've always been frustrated with how slowly things go, how powerless we are as individuals with only a single vote - and I don't even have that. I decided to start the petition."
Dylan created the Blue Mountains school-based petition this year. It asks for a name, postcode and signature and for people to help bring about a legislated pledge for government action to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 60 per cent of 2005 levels by the year 2030.
He said it had been "better received than I expected ... I didn't think many of the teenagers around me would care about this".
Dylan presented at an assembly at Katoomba High and got about 120 signatures at different classrooms there. Shortly after he started his senior years at Korowal School in Hazelbrook, the school principal there also allowed Dylan to address an assembly and get more signatures. He now has more than 300 names on his petition.
"Anyone can sign a petition, you don't have to be over 18. After getting a lot of signatures at Katoomba High I thought I could get other school [kids]."
To get any traction in Parliament he needs 10,000 signatures.
Dylan thought that some parents may not approve of their children signing a petition they hadn't seen, and so the petition stalled at Korowal.
"It makes perfect sense, now I see that it might have its own problems, so we want to approach some local businesses to help, and have their customers sign," he said.
Korowal teacher Barbara Hall is supporting Dylan in his endeavour.
"It's been a while since I've signed a petition," she said.
They both feel a physical petition will have more impact than a "tick on a website" or "convenient electronics".
Dylan hopes eventually to pursue work in conservation and marine biology.
"The ocean is where most of the oxygen comes from, from phytoplankton and algae seaweed ... and where most of the carbon dioxide ends up ... so the effects of climate change are much worse in marine environments. We don't see how big the problem is [there]."
And while marine biology is where his heart lies, the Year 11 student would not rule out a stint in politics "if I was sure it might make a difference".
The Gazette met with the Korowal High School student as world leaders gathered in Dubai for the United Nations climate summit - COP28 - 28th Conference of the Parties. The summit is expected to be the largest and most important international gathering on climate change this year with vital targets being discussed. Protests were also being held in Sydney about aspects of the event.
"We want to blow the government away and get an insane amount of signatures so there doesn't need to be more activism," Dylan said.
Businesses interested in having a paper petition or who feel they can help, can get in contact with teacher Barbara Hall via the email - firstname.lastname@example.org