Our world has seen the harsh impact of climate change and it may get worse if we don’t do anything soon. These environmental activists have realised the need to raise their voices and demand action. Despite their young age, all of them are working hard to conserve the environment and raise awareness. They are just regular people who are simply more conscious of the degrading environment.
Recently, an avid nature lover and environmentalist, 17-year-old Khushi Chindaliya from Surat, Gujarat was appointed by the United Nations Environment Programme – Tunza Eco-Generation as Regional Ambassador for India. She took up the task of educating herself about environmental degradation during the lockdown. She wants to look for ways to preserve nature as it has slowly disappeared in her hometown and this observation started her journey as an activist. This will be a great opportunity for her to raise awareness about the importance of safeguarding the environment.
Autumn Peltier, more commonly known as the “water warrior” is a 16-year-old Canadian indigenous water activist. She was only 8 when her journey began. She has mentioned that “Blue gold is one one of the most sacred elements of our culture.” At 14, she was given the title of chief water commissioner by a political advocacy group called the Anishinabek Nation for the noble work she has done. She raises awareness and ensures communities get water. Autumn is the voice for people who do not have access to clean drinking water, specifically for indigenous people in Canada.
Ridhima Pandey is an Indian climate activist and at the age of nine, she filed a complaint against the Indian Government stating that they aren’t taking enough steps to combat climate change as decided in the Paris Agreement. She demanded action to be taken by the government to reduce carbon emissions and suppress the impact of climate change. The Kedarnath flood of 2013 was an eye-opening incident for her. Ridhima even accompanied Greta Thurnberg in the protest at the UN Climate Action Summit against the lack of government efforts taken towards climate change. She has even called for more action to be taken to clean river Ganga.
Greta Thunberg is the face of young activists. She started her movement by skipping school and spending the time holding a sign that read, ”School Strike for Climate” outside the Swedish Parliament. Greta has Asperger’s syndrome, a developmental disorder that affects the ability to communicate and socialize properly. She called this a “superpower”. She spent 2019 campaigning all around the world and attending climate conferences. She demands that governments make efforts to cut down carbon emissions and invest in more sustainable methods. She has been an inspiration to many.
Licypriya Kangujam is one of the youngest climate activists in the world. She has addressed the UN in 2019, asking them to take action against climate change. Recently, she has been staging peaceful protests and demanding that the government of India bring a climate change law for the Delhi region where air quality has dropped to “poor”. She has also stated that climate change literacy should be mandatory in schools.
Aditya Mukarji from India has made it his mission to stop the usage of plastic straws. Plastic does not biodegrade for thousands of years and Aditya realised this problem. He had door-to-door campaigns and explained to people the need to go plastic-free. The use of 28 million plastic items was prevented because of him. To increase forest cover, he introduced “Forest of Hope”, an initiative for afforestation. He aims at making Earth a cleaner and greener place.
All of these activists are from different ages and backgrounds, however, they have one common goal: to save the environment before it’s too late. If we all do our small part by raising awareness and demanding stricter action against climate change, we can surely prevent more disasters from happening. Introducing climate change literacy to the youth will help build a better future.