Youth in Action on Climate Change

Often, and understandably, it is noted that youth feel anxious about the future of our planet with climate change advancing. As well, we have read that the best way to combat this anxiety is for each of us to find ways to take back control by taking action and making a difference. From September 20-27 we can each join in around the country (with others around the globe) to peacefully protest in the #Friday Strikes for Future. Please consider looking up and joining in your area when this is happening. Most major locations have a culminating event on September 24.

#Friday Strikes for Future

“Because adults aren’t acting quickly enough to solve the climate change crisis, despite the abundance of solutions, young people are stepping up and speaking out in many ways and places. The #FridayForFuture climate strikes have grown into a worldwide movement since then 15-year-old student Greta Thunberg began her solitary strike outside Sweden’s parliament a year ago.”

“Thunberg recently arrived in New York, after a cross-Atlantic journey in a zero-emissions yacht, gearing up for a week of climate action from September 20 to 27 that includes the Friday strikes, a UN youth climate summit on September 21 and a global UN climate action summit on September 23. She also plans to attend the September 27 Montreal climate strike.”

“We strike so that in the United Nations meeting, when they speak, it is with our beliefs on their tongues. We strike so that when they raise their hands to vote, it is with the weight of our vision hanging from the tips of their fingers. We strike so that when they stand, it will be with the might of the youth, the workers, and the people,” School Strike for Climate Australia’s Evan Meneses said.

“As adults, we owe it to the youth and those not yet born to do everything in our power to ensure they have a livable future, with clean air, drinkable water, healthy food, biodiverse life and a stable climate. Dropping what you’re doing for one or more days to get out and march may not sound like much, but the more people show up, the louder the message to governments, media, industry and society.”

“Many of us grew up in times and places when we didn’t fully realize that our postwar shift to consumerism as economic policy was depleting Earth’s resources and throwing natural systems and cycles, including the carbon cycle, out of balance. We maybe had an inkling that some wealth in the developed world came at the expense of people in poorer nations, but we didn’t consider that driving around in large vehicles and burning gas were doing much more than causing some pollution, easily resolved by removing lead from gas and making fuel-efficient cars.”

“Now we’ve known for decades where the planet is headed if we continue with business as usual, and it’s not a human-friendly place. Let’s all get out there to demand action — and show the kids we care!” (From Davidsuzuki.org, at: https://davidsuzuki.org/story/lets-all-support-the-global-climate-strikes/)

United Nations Youth in Action

“Climate change has increased levels of uncertainty about our future. As its impacts intensify over time, one thing has become certain: We will leave the Earth to today’s children and young people, and to future generations. The world is home to 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 to 24 — the largest generation of youth in history. Young people are increasingly aware of the challenges and risks presented by the climate crisis and of the opportunity to achieve sustainable development brought by a solution to climate change.”

“Young people’s unprecedented mobilization around the world shows the massive power they possess to hold decision-makers accountable. Their message is clear: the older generation has failed, and it is the young who will pay in full — with their very futures.”

“Young people are not only victims of climate change. They are also valuable contributors to climate action. They are agents of change, entrepreneurs and innovators. Whether through education, science or technology, young people are scaling up their efforts and using their skills to accelerate climate action.”

“My generation has largely failed until now to preserve both justice in the world and to preserve the planet. It is your (the younger)generation that must make us be accountable to make sure that we don’t betray the future of humankind.” — United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres

United Nations Youth Advisory Group 

The seven members of the Youth Advisory group met earlier this year with Secretary General Antonio Gutteres for a spirited discussion on climate concerns related to green jobs, debt burdens, inadequate funding for youth movements and indigenous land rights, among others. These seven members of the Youth Advisory Group come from all regions of the world and diverse backgrounds as climate leaders, activists, lawyers, researchers, and economists. Gutteres said “Pressure is needed on those who make decisions and young people are leading that”.

https://www.un.org/en/climatechange/yag-meeting

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