Young climate activists demand action and inspire hope
Climate change impacts everyone but the future belongs to young people. Meet some of the youth activists on the frontline.
As the impacts of climate change intensify with each passing year, more and more young people are joining the movement for positive change. By leading the discussion around climate change, they are also spreading awareness and motivating others to take action.
UNICEF partnered with Fridays For Future, an organization founded by Greta Thunberg, to speak to youth climate activists on how climate change has affected them and what they’re doing to fight it. They share their experiences and encourage others to take action for a cleaner, cooler and happier world.
Since childhood, María, 19, has seen the impacts of the climate crisis up close, especially the water crisis that runs throughout Mexico. While droughts and rising temperatures are causing forest fires, cyclones are causing flooding and harvests to be lost. To fight this, she became a full-time climate activist. She believes that the issue of water scarcity cannot be seen in isolation but as a part of the larger ecosystem.
“To preserve water, we have to preserve the forests.”
Tahsin Uddin, 22, is a climate activist in Bangladesh – a country where many people are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. He promotes cycling as an eco-friendly vehicle through his youth organization and trains teenagers on mobile journalism, while also planting trees and organizing clean-ups. He urges young people to take part in their country’s climate movement.
“Though we the young people are not responsible for climate change, it will have a greater impact on us.”
What inspired Tahsin and what can young people do to start protecting the environment? Read more >>
Russell Raymond, 17, is a reporter from the Caribbean nation of Dominica. When Hurricane Maria made landfall in September 2017, it devastated his country, submerging streets, blowing roofs off homes and schools and forcing his family to seek shelter. Since then, he has used photography to chronicle the impacts of the hurricane on the island he calls home. In this video he revisits some of those memories.
“Alternate forms of energy like solar energy and wind … can stop climate change or at least put a dent in it.”
What Russell saw in the aftermath of the hurricane: See the photo essay >>
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Mitzi Jonelle Tan, an activist from Manila, has been campaigning for climate justice. As the Philippines was hit by two back-to-back hurricanes in 2020, her organization sprang into action – feeding the communities left hungry and asking them about their problems and how they felt after the storm.
“This isn’t just about the weather and the environment. It’s about justice.”
From amplifying voices for climate justice to demanding accountability, read about Mitzi’s work >>
Nkosilathi Nyathi, 17, is a UNICEF climate activist from Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. He walks us through changes he has witnessed first-hand as a result of climate change. He feels that although young people can see and feel the effects of climate change, many don’t know what’s happening and he wants to change that.
“There’s no other time for acting than now.”
What keeps Nkosi on the frontline for climate justice? Read his blog post >>
Climate change is impacting the lives of children and young people everywhere. The world needs to keep to its commitment to limit warming to 1.5oC. Read more >>