The roles of young people in solving the climate crisis (Challenges and perspectives)

Véronique BULAYA
Posted July 18, 2019 from Democratic Republic of the Congo

Representing nearly 30% of the world's population and mainly affected by climate problems, young people are called upon to use their intellectual and mobilization capacities on sensitive issues such as those related to climate challenges and environmental protection. . Because of its status as heir, it must ensure the best preservation of its ecological heritage. Young people must promote the green economy by adopting behaviors to reduce emissions; This will have significant and positive consequences for economic and social development, consumption and production patterns, and hence for employment, income and poverty reduction. This is why young people have an important role to play in action on climate change. But also, youth activism at these climate meetings gives life to the moral imperative of acting on climate change. The presence of young people on the ground as well as in the various climate negotiations is a constant reminder that the lives of future generations depend on the measures and decisions of today. In order for the transition to a sustainable world to happen soon enough, young people clearly need to be more vocal in the global agenda on the climate and the future of humanity. This is why it is urgent that young people be actively engaged in the transition to highly resilient and low-carbon lifestyles.

Unfortunately, poor forest governance, slash-and-burn agriculture, a practice by which smallholder farmers cut down trees and burn forests to make way for agriculture, poverty, overpopulation and mining are also other phenomena that lead to deforestation such as the uncontrolled cutting of trees for firewood or charcoal (embers) are the root causes of large-scale deforestation by the Congolese population in general and especially in rural areas in DR Congo.

Faced with these devastating attitudes of our environment, fostering the evolution of climate change, young people should not sit idly by waiting for others to act, they must act individually, family and community as follows:

- At the individual level: Engage and become actively involved in the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of climate change mitigation and adaptation actions. They must also inform themselves, train themselves and share their experiences on the issue of the fight against climate change through their participation in various conferences, summits, organized workshops on the climate. Decide to change their lifestyle by cycling, walking to school and using public transportation, by choosing topics that focus on one aspect of the fight against climate change and by taking concrete actions in their families and communities.

- At the family level: They must make the importance of the environment known to all the members of their families, explain to them what it is that climate change, show them its impact on the world population, what it will be if nothing is done and what can be their contributions as a united entity. Simple gestures (like planting trees around the house, creating green spaces, taking a shower instead of a bath, taking public transport, avoiding unnecessary consumption of electrical energy, eating organic and opt for renewable or organic energies when the means allow it) must be taught. And finally use improved ovens instead of firewood for cooking.

- At the community level: Inspire other young people and act as agents of change in the face of climate change. They must also promote the integration of other young people into clubs or associations of young people fighting for the protection of the environment, or help them to create new structures with their comrades in places where they do not yet exist. , to promote work in synergy by creating networks of organizations fighting for the protection of the environment or specifically the fight against climate change, to contribute to research-action activities with a view to the immediate and radical reorientation of policies to promote consumption and investment based on low-carbon energy sources, work towards the development of the public-private partnership in the field of research and development.

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Jill Langhus
Jul 18
Jul 18

Hi Véronique,

Thanks for sharing your inspiring and informative post on youth and the climate. I love your suggestions on how people can change their views and lifestyles in order to improve everyone's and the planet's future:-) What do you think is the most important thing that people could change in your area to make the biggest climate change impact?

Hope you're having a great day, and week:-)

Hello, Veronique,

These are great recommendations on how the youth can help fight against climate change. Thank you for sharing!