Several young climate activists you may want to know


At long last, there is more attention drawn toward the concerns about climate change. Protests have sprouted across the globe, particularly among the youth who understand the need to take action to protect the future and the generations after them. 

The most recognizable figure of this movement is Greta Thunberg, whose speech at the United Nations garnered attention for her indignant passion toward the inactive response on the dwindling environment. Increased discussion on the issue has highlighted the damaging climate change effects on the world, as well as the political barrier that prevents the initiative to protect it. 

Yet, there have been many other young activists advocating for solutions around the world. Even if they remain out of the media’s focus, the planet thanks the hard-earned contributions of these climate activists.

Ridhima Pandey

Pandey is from the Uttarakhand region in the Northwestern state of India, where in 2013 she witnessed the traumatic effects of climate change at the 5 years old. The flood that destroyed many lives influenced her to become an activist, according to the The Times of India

In 2017 — at just nine-years old — she set up a petition with the National Green Tribunal Act, challenging the effectiveness of India’s climate change policies. Pandey wants the government to consider the impacts of climate change more seriously, due to the damage it has done and will do in the future. Their case also calls on the government to create a national greenhouse gas emissions inventory and carbon budget.

Pandey continues to participate in climate change events in her country and has plans to organize a non-profit that gathers young activists.

Marinel Ubaldo

Marinel Ubaldo experienced an environmental tragedy in the same year as Pandey. She was 16 years old when the Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines in 2013, which killed thousands and left many more homeless. 

Ubaldo shows how marginalized groups are forced to pay for the environmental damages, generated by those who are unaware of their plights: “Some countries that have historically contributed most to climate change are still not fully feeling its effects. It’s important that they hear our stories, so they realize that it is affecting real people today,” she said, according to Amnesty International.

Now 22 years old, Ubaldo continues to advocate for safer conditions for the lives ravaged by the disaster. She also wants governments to recognize the need for immediate action against climate change.

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez

Like Thunberg, Martinez’s speech at the United Nations in 2015 garnered him a lot of attention in the media. Martinez started publicly speaking about environmental issues at the 6 years old, and he continues to use this skill today for court cases and to educate people about various climate issues. 

“Indigenous peoples see themselves as caretakers of the planet ... But I learned about human lifestyles, how our greed and ways of living are destroying our planet for the profit of this generation. It freaks me out,” he stated, according to an interview with The Guardian

He is also the youth director of Earth Guardians, a non-profit organization that focuses on building a diverse team of young people and encourages them toward global activism.

Quannah Chasinghorse

Also with indigenous roots, Chasinghorse’s background is from the Gwich’in and Lakota Sioux tribes located in Alaska. Environmental issues pose a big problem for their lifestyle, because Alaska is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change compared to the rest of the United States. 

The state is heating up at twice the rate as the rest of the country, according to the National Climate Assessment, according to The Rising. Seeing the necessity for change in order to protect her home, Chasinghorse raised a concern to the Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN). 

She talked about the need to fix the current state of the climate for the sake of future generations, and presented a plan to bring awareness to the emergency. Despite the disagreements from those who were more concerned about the wealth of oil and gas reserves quietly residing in Alaska, on Dec. 21, the AFN eventually passed the resolution.

The deteriorating environment is shoved into the younger generation’s responsibility and to the next. Therefore, it is crucial to put the voices of youth at the forefront: Without preserving these determinations, especially from people of color, it will further spiral the environmental protection cause into darkness. Climate change is an emergency, and after every year its sirens sound louder.


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