Issues and Challenges

Engaging Youth against Climate Change

Why is having knowledge about climate change important? Who will face the dangerous impacts of this change? These questions arise in the minds of those who are concerned about the climate change and its impact on the future generations who are the ones that will be facing the worst effects if necessary measures are not taken immediately against this issue. Threatening factors of climate variability are aggravating the current challenges like water and food security globally, disturbance in the ecosystem leading to human health issues and an increase in inequality regarding income. This can lead to an 18% decrease in GDP globally by 2050. 

Many people are not giving the climate change issue a serious consideration. They do not understand that no matter where we are living or which age group we belong to, every life is affected by the climate change and its effects are getting more dangerous with time. Every person has an important role to play in addressing climate change but it is necessary that youth get more involved in this matter because the age group of 10-23 currently makes up 23.6% of the world’s population, which is a huge number. Climate change is an issue that can be tackled by using youth’s brilliance, who can create new and innovative strategies. 
Significance of Youth  Engagement
The world belongs to the young; it is the youth that is going to inherit the world with all its beauty and issues and so they have to begin their efforts now so that they can inherit a healthier, safer world. About 90% of the younger generation living in the under-developed countries are facing issues related to low income and encountering the adverse effects of climate change. Youth, which may encompass the ones as old as age 35, are frequently going through some transitory existence phase or the other. From finishing school to organizing financial safety or even beginning a family, majority of those essential existence milestones emerge at some stage during the years of youth. Climate change has the capability of disturbing the above-mentioned milestones, giving rise to long-lasting consequences. That is why youth have to get more involved in this matter to recognize how much their quick actions are required to initiate a movement on this matter.
Moreover, the younger generation is expected to spend a significant duration of their lives contributing to climate change reduction. They can make strategies for fighting against rising sea levels, work on reducing global rising temperatures, lower carbon emissions, etc. According to scientific research, not just youth but even children are being influenced by these changes, around 88% of the children are facing diseases, which are caused by climate change that shows that youth’s active involvement is indispensable. 
How to Promote Youth’s Interest in Climate Change?
Youth need to be motivated in order to take action towards climate change issues. Some initiatives that can be taken by the global development communities to increase the youth’s engagement in this matter are:
Promoting Private Companies That Offer Green Skills
Industrial and commercial sectors are mostly responsible for GHG emissions and the majority of these industries come under the private sector. It is important to promote the clean energy concept in these companies. To develop this notion, it is necessary to give our youth green skills; institutions should be more focused on enhancing environment- friendly skills in students, and companies should create separate positions for candidates with green skills. These types of initiatives will encourage the young entrepreneurs to make such career choices that would be beneficial for them as well as their environment.
Climate Change to be Incorporated as a Part of Curriculum
The best way for youth to gain interest in climate change issues is through the education system. Educational institutions should have a curriculum that will provide information about the country’s vulnerable condition with respect to climate change. They should introduce students to various climate protection approaches and technologies, which can decrease GHG emissions. Climate education can also encourage and enable youth to think about this global issue, so they can take actions to address it. 
Encouraging Youth to Become Leaders in the Good Fight
It is essential to empower youth by giving them skills and an authentic platform to get involved in the climate mitigation process. They should be motivated to take a stand for it and highlight the issues on the political level, so more valuable actions can be taken towards this global issue. Younger people should also be included in the decision-making processes, so they gain more confidence and have the realization that their efforts are important. Young investors and activists can push the companies to take action in fight against climate change and develop innovative solutions for the future.
Initiatives Youth Can Take Towards Climate Change Action
If any youngster is getting involved in such important matters, then first of all they deserve the appreciation for taking a step forward. Moreover, we need to make it clear to all young people that they need to develop an understanding about the core issues concerning environment, and that just by learning about this, they are making a difference. This can lead to a valuable contribution to protect the environment.
Make Yourself Heard
Climate change is an issue for everyone, affecting each one of us in different ways. You have to remind yourself that your age or experience does not matter when it comes to the wellbeing of the planet. Keep your focus on your own role and how you are going to make a difference. You can get involved in group discussions, where you can address your concerns about climate change and present the solutions that you think can work out well. It will give you an opportunity to brainstorm with others and gain a different point of view. You change your thoughts into words and your words into actions by raising your voice without any hesitation.
Keep On Learning
Younger minds have the capability of learning new things quickly and can develop a better understanding of complex issues. Learning can help in becoming aware of many issues which are playing a huge part in climate change like rising sea levels, zoonotic diseases, rising temperatures, animal species extinction, air pollution, and wildfires. All these issues are connected to each other and have a strong impact on the climate.
Make a Change in Your Daily Life
It’s never too late to make a change in your lifestyle. Nowadays, young people are more driven towards adopting a healthy lifestyle, which can play an important part in reducing climate change. Starting changes at home is easier and more effective, e.g., reducing plastic waste and recycling, using bicycles instead of cars, developing an interest in growing plants, etc. These actions may sound really small but getting started with small steps leads to great change. Youth usually consider themselves less heard but young energy can contribute to the environment in a remarkable way. Your small actions can make you an example for those who are not well aware of this issue or not taking it seriously. Your actions can even make older people around you to adopt changes.
Increasing Outdoor Time
Nowadays, our younger generation is more interested in indoor activities. But connecting with nature is very important for improving the environment. Young people should be motivated towards exploring different ecosystems. It doesn’t mean you have to plan an expensive trip, we are surrounded by nature, from the mountains to the park near your house. Spending more time outside can make you realize what amazing gifts nature has bestowed upon us. Increasing one’s outdoor time would make an individual be inclined towards protecting the environment from harm.
Spreading Awareness
Our younger generation is an important part of society, so it is significant that they become advocates for our planet, citizens who are well aware of climatic issues. Young people tend to have a larger social circle, it is easier for them to spread awareness about this issue and share their knowledge with others. You can start with your friends at school, your family members or welfare community members which can help in contributing to this mission. You can use your school or college platform to start a campaign that can solve local climate issues by giving simple solutions. 
As a young person, it can be hard to have the confidence to start making changes. But the fact of the matter is that young people are facing bigger issues as time is passing but still many young people are taking initiatives towards protecting the environment. It is our duty to help and promote youth in making them aware of climate change and taking action as they are our future and hope for a better tomorrow. HH

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