Today’s youth make almost 1.8 billion people worldwide. As global leaders are about to convene Glasgow Climate Conference (COP26) from Oct 31 to Nov 12, 2021, global youth is concerned about earth and its future. Our generation would face the haunting outcomes of climate change.
Climate change is regarded as the most daunting challenge of this millennium. On the other hand decision makers face questions for the lack of self-accountability and insensitivity towards the future of today’s youth.
The damage done is done, but we can still make efforts to save future of earth. How are we supposed to do that? Although, climate actions need huge resources, the use of existing resources for strategic actions have their own significance. Be it tree plantation, saying no to plastic bags, making and using eco-friendly items for daily life, joining climate activism, reading about it and most important educating others about it. That can be done by putting social media into use. Empowering and motivation can be tools to engage youth and educate them. Youth has an essential role in all these efforts.
A recent study shows that countries – with youth majority – have high level of dependence on agriculture. This sector is badly affected by climate change. Unemployment and lack of opportunities arise due to such conditions. Youth finds it challenging to earn livelihoods for themselves and families, especially in low income countries.
Green jobs and green economy awareness can help as a solution. Green jobs help environment and its detoxification. Such as, water conservation, sustainable forestry, solar power and the like.
Climate change got worse because of unawareness and harmful actions that led to irreversible damage to ecosystem. This comes to a point that awareness and considerate actions/decisions taken at individual and institutional levels will eventually rejuvenate the environment for us and the generations to come.
Universities and educational institutions can play important role. Such as seminars for faculty and students as well as integrating climate change in the curriculum.
Glasgow Climate Conference is the most important opportunity to take actions. ‘Youth4Climate: Driving Ambition’, Pre-Cop, is the initiative of UN to involve youth as proposers and decision makers against climate change. It was a part of pre-cop meeting held in Milan, Italy.
Ex-president of USA Barack Obama will also join youth activists during COP 26. This will amplify youth voices in climate activism.
Global leaders should make tangible commitments against climate crisis in Glasgow Conference.
Ms. Iqra Khan is a Climate Change activist and student of a medical university in Islamabad.