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Commonwealth youth speak out on climate change
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Commonwealth youth speak out on climate change

Activists from six Commonwealth countries meet to develop toolkit for advocacy

A coalition of young climate change activists are meeting in London this week to develop a toolkit for young Commonwealth citizens to engage in climate change education and advocacy.

The event follows last year’s successful launch of the Young Climate Change Initiative Network to build the capacity of young activists across the Commonwealth.

‘People under 30 are extremely concerned about the impact of climate change in their countries. It is their future at stake, but there is broad consensus that young people’s voices are not being heard on this issue,’ says Layne Robinson, Programme Officer at the Commonwealth Secretariat.

The YCCI brings together young people with expertise on climate change issues in their countries and regions. The aim of this initiative is for them to share experiences and produce a practical learning resource for other young people.

It will provide guidance on key resources and networks and will include sections on issues relevant to climate change, such as gender, food security, water, sanitation and human rights.

Young activists from India, Sierra Leone, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Trinidad and Tobago and Nigeria yesterday gave their views on climate change:

‘Climate change is very important. The evidence is that young people will inherit the climate system which the government decides to leave. Young people have the skills and knowledge. If only they are given the opportunity.’ – Taiwo Oyelakin, Nigeria Youth Climate Coalition (Nigeria).

‘Climate change is an immediate threat. It is not a future phenomenon for which we need to be thinking about and preparing for. It is here and now. And it is here and now that we must make this our important priority, globally.’ – Alicia Crawford (Australia).

‘We are not fighting the climate, not saving the planet. We are battling our own survival. Let’s wake up to the consistent signals of nature and work together for our future. Climate change is real.’ – Rishab Khanna (India)

‘Climate change is a global phenomenon. The enormity of the effects will only be fully experienced in a few years from now. As a people, we owe it to ourselves to take action now. Change the way we consume, the treatment of our ecosystems, our impacts on the environment and as such, our livelihoods. This way, we can combat the effects on our future.’ – Nolana E Lynch (Trinidad and Tobago)

‘We all know climate change is about human survival and human prosperity. But it’s about human rights, too. So as young people, let’s start by fighting for our right to a better climate. We need practical actions, not words. We call on world leaders to take responsibility now and think about our climate rights as a global agenda for all.’ – Messeh Kamara (Sierra Leone).

‘When you believe in doing something for climate change, just do it and don’t expect the outcomes of it and the best outcome will come to you’ – Y.Komalirani (India)

‘For a future tomorrow, let us preserve our environment today.’ – Garvin Perry, (Trinidad and Tobago).

‘It’s our time, our future. Keep the planet safe. Stop climate change.’ – Esther Agbarakwe (Nigeria).

‘Young people are the world’s largest untapped resource. We have the ideas, energy, and commitment to justice that will solve climate change.’ – Casper ter Kuile (United Kingdom).

‘Our generation is already suffering from the impacts of the on-going financial crisis. Let’s not allow an ecological crisis to get to the same point.’ – Sarah-Jane Saska, (Canada).

‘We are here. We are the young generation. We are strong. We are a voice. Speak through us and we can carry the voice. Climate change. A change for your people and the young generation. Think climate.’ – Timothy Sam (Sierra Leone).



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