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Youth activists in the fight against climate change

In recent years the awareness on climate change has grown and multiple activists globally have been petitioning it and different governments are beginning to do things in order to help with it. A large group of youth activists globally have been causing uproar in order to spread awareness and demand action.

Five particular youth activists who campaign for action in regards to climate change are Greta Thunberg, Vinisha Umashanker, Xiye Bashda, Vanessa Nakate and Vic Barett. This article will look at these five individuals and their campaigns in detail.

Firstly, Greta Thunberg. Greta is a Swedish environmental activist known globally for challenging world leaders to take action in the fight against climate change. She begun taking more advanced footsteps in this fight after convincing her parents to start making lifestyle choices that would reduce their carbon footprint. And then at the age of 15, in August 2018, she would spend her days outside of the Swedish parliament to call for stronger action against climate change. To do this, she would hold up a sign that stated “school strike for climate”.

Secondly, Vinisha Umashanker. She is a 16 year old Indian climate activist. Her main idea was that solar powered ironing carts should be used for street vendors. This idea was accepted by the ‘National innovation foundation’ and is now gaining global recognition. It can hold up to six hours usage a day and any extra power that is formed can be used as a phone socket charger. During a protest she stated that “I’m a girl from the Earth, and I’m proud to be so. I’m also a student, innovator, environmentalist, and entrepreneur, but most importantly I’m an optimist.

Another youth activist who is working on the fight against climate change is Xiye Bashda. She is a Mexican-Chilean 19 year old. She is the organiser of ‘Fridays for future’ and the co-funder of ‘Re-earth initiative’ which aims to make climate movement more intersectional. At one of her protests she stated that “voices aren’t being heard because you’re not inviting them to decision making tables”. She also worked alongside Greta Thunberg in order to promote more awareness for climate change and said that “So diversity, inclusion, all of the things that Greta wasn’t representing because she couldn’t represent them. But then obviously she was very well aware about that and her presence bought all of this attention on us”.

In addition to these activists, Vanessa Nakate is a Ugandian climate justice activist. Her work started when she begun watching farms destroyed as a result of floods and droughts. She stated that “If the farms are destroyed by droughts and crop production is less, that means that the price of food is going to go high. So it will only be the most privileged who will be able to buy food…in my county, a lack of rain means starvation and death for the less privileged”. This emotive way of addressing her audience helped her to spread awareness and get more people involved in the fight against climate change.

The final youth activist we are going to address in this article is Vic Barett. Barett is a 20 year old Honduran/American student who is in alliance for climate education. At the age of 12 years old he experienced the raff of ‘Superstorm Sandy’ which tragically left 147 people in America dead. After this had taken place he observed that those of colour were disproportionally affected by the storm which is what lead him onto helping with this fight. He stated that “I’m young and I’m Latinx and I’m black and I’m queer and I’m a first generation American. This is something that really affects a lot of the identities that I hold and a lot of people like me. And I just couldn’t ignore it after that”. He has now gone onto fight in court in union with 20 climate activists and has also spoken publicly about inequalities his community faces.

These five activists are just examples of hundreds of youth activists worldwide who are all protesting against governments and world leaders in order to beat climate change.


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