Have you also felt that it was the hottest summer ever? This might sound depressing, but some experts on climate change predict this might actually be the coolest summer of the rest of our lives. We honestly hope that is not the case, but we also acknowledge this is an emergency, especially for the younger generations. In fact, they are the ones who are warning us as well as putting up a fight against Global Warming. Today we are introducing you to the voices of this movement, beyond Greta Thunberg.
No. 1. Lesein Mutunkei
This young kenyan boy is only 17 and he started being aware of the climate crisis and deforestation at school, when he was 11. As Lesein is an avid football player, he came up with @Trees4Goals: an initiative in which, for each goal he scores in a match, he will plant 11 trees. This initiative is supported by his football team, Ligi Ndogo. Lesein has already become a spokesperson for climate action and has taken part in UN Youth Climate Summits and other important events such as festivals to raise awareness of climate change.
No. 2. Autumn Peltier
A young Anishinaabe Indigenous rights advocate from Ontario, Canada. She addressed world leaders at the UN General Assembly on the issue of water protection when she was only 13 in 2018. Autumn Peltier was named Chief Water Commissioner for the Anishinabek Nation in 2019. She is currently petitioning the Government of Canada to ensure clean water for the indigenous communities in the country.
No. 3. Licypriya Kangujam
The youngest of this list, Licypriya Kangujam is only 10 years old and started as a climate activist when she was 6. In 2019 she addressed the world leaders in the United Nations Climate Conference 2019 (COP25) calling them to take immediate climate actions. She is also the founder of The Child Movement and brings a local approach to the cause, focusing her campaigns on India’s high pollution levels and petitioning her country’s government to make climate change literacy mandatory in schools.
No. 4. Tori Tsui
Originally from Hong Kong, Tori Tsui is currently living in Bristol and is a well‑known speaker for climate justice as well as the creator of the space Bad Activist Collective. Tori sailed across the Atlantic with the Think Tank Sail to the COP25 in order to avoid plane emissions. She has already been sponsored by Stella McCartney, and has been named an agent of change. The activist is currently working on her debut book, It’s Not Just You, where she explores the intersections between the climate crisis and mental health.
No. 5. Nina Gualinga
The climate emergency is more than an emergency but a threat to the lives of the people who live in the Ecuadorian Amazon, where Nina Gualinga is from. As a young girl, she saw how an oil company entered their land against their will. Since then, she has taken action for climate justice, speaking out against the oil industry and being part of Mujeres Amazonicas, a movement consisting of women from six indigenous nations who tackle together the danger they are facing as women in an area where deforestation is a constant occurrence. She is also currently sharing knowledge of the national strikes in Ecuador.
No. 6. Vanessa Nakate
Vanessa Nakate is an environmental activist from Uganda, where the unusually high temperatures product of global warming are taking its toll. In January 2019 she led a solitary strike outside the gates of her country’s parliament for several months. As other young people began to join the demonstrations she summoned, Vanessa founded the Youth for Future Africa. She also spoke at COP25.
No. 7. Leah Thomas
Also known as Green Girl Leah, this California‑based eco‑communicator focuses her work on writing about the link between environmentalism and social justice. She founded The Intersectional Environmentalist Platform with this aim in mind. Moreover, this last International’s Women Day, she published her first book also called The intersectional Environmentalist.
No. 8. Luisa Neubauer
This young German climate activist is one of the main organisers of the School Strike for Climate movement in her country. She is currently a member of the Alliance 90/The Greens party in Germany and demands a more ambitious approach than the Paris Agreement climate policy. Lisa Neubauer is also an advocate for de‑growth on global consumption.
No. 9. Youth 4 Climate Action
They are the voice of young climate activists in South Korea. This youth organisation coordinate various demonstrations in their country, including #FridaysForFuture. Their last campaign, #PeopleNotProfit, urges the Government of South Korea to start penalising the companies responsible for greenhouse gas emissions. Youth 4 Climate Action also advocates for social equality and leads the Global Climate Strikes among the youngsters
No. 10. Greta Thunberg
What else is there to say about the most famous young climate activist in the world? Globally known for her “How dare you” speech at the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit and her bold nature when facing the political leaders, Greta is currently working on The Climate Book, in which she has assembled more than 100 contributors who will tackle altogether how the planet’s many crises connect. The book’s release is expected next October, and personalities like scientist Katharine Hayhoe, economist Thomas Piketty and novelist Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid’s Tale) will be featured in it.