September 23, 2019

Can young people really avert a global climate catastrophe?

Millennials and those born in the 21st century in the vanguard of broad-based action on global environmental emergency.

In September 2018, UN climate scientists warned the world had only 12 years to limit global heating to 1.5C and limit the risk of extreme heat, floods and drought killing millions of people.

We’re now down to 11 years.

With the clock ticking on, the global climate emergency will be centre-stage at the United Nations on Monday. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is convening a¬†climate summit¬†aimed at galvanising action to keep temperatures below 2C ‚Äď and preferably to 1.5C. Guterres wants world political and business leaders to come up with workable plans to almost halve carbon emissions by 2020, on the road to net zero emissions by 2050.

But as older generations debate what is achievable, younger millennials and members of Generation Z are leveraging their grief and anger at the world they are likely to inherit and are urging fast and effective action - right now. Some young climate activists believe there is a role for the UN, with many attending a separate Youth Climate Summit at the world body's headquarters on Saturday. But they are also leading direct action - including climate strikes - to shake people out of their complacency and highlight that a catastrophe lies ahead unless carbon emissions are not drastically cut.

In the final part of our series tied to the Covering Climate Now initiative, we’ll meet young climate activists and thinkers who are battling to avert a global calamity. Join the conversation. 

On this episode of The Stream, we speak with: 

Xiye Bastida, @xiyebastida
Climate Justice Activist

Nasratullah Elham, @NasratullahElh5
Climate Activist

Aman Sharma, @amansha23
Fridays for Future Striker

Read more:
Why young climate activists have captured the world’s attention - Nature
The Youth Climate Movement Is Just Getting Started ‚ÄstThe Nation

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