Youth Action against Climate Change

“Climate change is the long-term alteration of temperature and normal weather patterns in a place. This could refer to a particular location or the planet as a whole.”
National Geographic

What’s happening?

There is no doubt Human Activities have been increasing the levels of Greenhouse Gases in the atmosphere. Notably the use of Fossil Fuels used around the world, unsustainable agriculture and deforestation. Factors such as these then lead to the greenhouse effect; the gradual increase in our Earth and Atmosphere’s temperature. 

The impacts of this rise in temperature include, but are not limited to, factors such as melting glaciers (leading to a rise in sea levels) and increased extreme weather events such as intense rainfall, tropical storms and droughts.

In 2015 the United Nations (UN) member states set out 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They are all integrated and are aimed towards Economic, Social and Environmental Sustainability around the world. Number 13 is climate action, which aims to address the needs for countries to adapt to climate change but also invest in sustainable development to help slow it’s effects.  

Find out more about the SDGs here: 

https://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/sustainable-development-goals.html

Why is Youth Action so important?

The answer is simple. Younger generations today are the ones who will be living with the consequences of decisions made by older generations.

According to the 2014 Nepali Youth Figures Population published by the Government of Nepal Ministry of Youth and Sports, approximately 40% of Nepal’s population is aged between 16-40. When looking at the UK’s government website approximately 29% of their population is aged 18-40. Whilst this is not directly comparable it suggests that there is a higher proportion of young people in Nepal than there are in my home country. A higher proportion means a louder voice! Younger generations are the future of Nepal’s development. 

“You are never too young to lead, we are never too old to learn”

Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations from January 1997 to December 2006

A person’s age does not define whether or not they are able to make a difference or have a say. An example of Youth Empowerment that may help to inspire you is Greta Thunberg. An inspiring 16 year old from Sweden who has been on school strike since August 2018, all in the name of the Climate Crisis. She has reached out to politicians in many countries including the UK, the US, Germany and France. Not only has Greta been able to influence her family to live a more carbon conscious lifestyle but also has a huge global following; young people around the world have begun to strike with her in a movement called Fridays For Future.  

What can you do? 

There’s no denying, the facts are pretty scary. So let’s now think about how we can each do our bit to help tackle this crisis. Making small changes to our everyday lives can make a difference! Yes a lot of work is still to be done by Politicians and Policy makers but we can all do our own bit to show our support!

Minor adjustments to your everyday life that can eventually become a habit.

The title of Great’s book says it all: “No one is too small to make a difference”

Here’s 10 examples:

  1. Turn off the lights – Use less energy in your home
  2. Air dry your clothes
  3. Take shorter showers – Save water!
  4. Eat less meat, poultry and fish – more resources are used to produce meat than plants
  5. Support local businesses – something Nepal is already great at! But the truth is it works! Buying local produce from a local farmer or vendor means it hasn’t had to travel far at all.
  6. Try to buy goods with minimal packaging – most of our waste will eventually end up in the world’s oceans.
  7. Bike/walk/use public transport – it may take a little longer but this will drastically reduce your carbon footprint (and will also help with Kathmandu’s traffic jams) 
  8. Use your own bag when you shop – avoid adding to the many plastic bags that are already either in circulation or have been thrown away. 
  9. Donate what you don’t use – clothes/furniture/books can always find a new home
  10. And finally… Speak Up! 

Spreading the word and making people more aware of what is going on will make a huge difference. Talk to your Family about it around the dinner table, talk to your friends about it on the way to school, the more people that are aware the better! Social Media is a great way to reach out to people from all corners of the world – use it to like and share content that will help spread the word…

Have a look at Gretas instagram @gretathunberg to see the impact she is making!

Claire Faulkner, UK

I’m in Nepal for 3 months on a career break, back in the UK I worked as a Travel Consultant. I have a degree in Human Geography from Newcastle University. I love to travel (both in the UK and around the World)! My other hobbies include Running, Sports and the Outdoors.


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