As we mark the 2017 International Youth Day, so is the world reminded that the youth have a very critical role to play in the fight against climate change. Today, millions of people – both young and old, from far and near – will gather to celebrate the contributions of the youth to conflict prevention and sustainable peace.

The theme for this year’s event is “Youth Building Peace”. And obviously every speaker who finds himself/herself on the 2017 International Youth Day roaster will definitely have his/her speech dominated by talks geared towards peace.

However, one area that the youth are most likely not to be reminded of is their role in the fight against Climate Change. Yes, the world needs peace; but peace is not only the absence of war or conflict.

A society without good breathing air cannot have peace; a deteriorating environment cannot breed peace and a world blighted by abnormal increases in temperature, floods and droughts cannot be classified as peaceful.

This, therefore, is the reason why the PACC Policy wants the youth reminded that fighting the aforementioned are part of their duties – and there would be no better platform to sell such a message than during the celebration of the 2017 International Youth Day.

Climate change is, and has always been, a major threat to the world, putting at risk the flora, the fauna and the ecosystem at large. As a result of this, climate change should be everybody’s business because it is a global issue, which concerns everyone on this planet. Currently it looks like the youth are not so much enthused about the subject of climate change.

But that is only because most of them do not know that they owe the world an active duty. A duty, which means they must strive to see a planet free from bad air, polluted water bodies, and without greens.

Climate change is a long-term global issue and must be treated as such. If Government and its agencies, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and individuals do not prioritize climate change, then the current issues of increasing global temperatures, droughts, floods etc are bound to continue. But in order to minimize the effects of climate change, we must all strategize – and this can be effectively done by raising our voices to the fight agsinst this global canker.

It is true that we continue to struggle to get the attention of government agencies, politicians and policy makers in the fight against climate change, but it will be more proactive if we can all begin to fight it in our own little ways. We could kick start this fight from our homes, schools, churches, mosques, places of worship and our local communities – and the contributions of the youth will be very key in this regard.

The United Nations (UN) highlights that “young people’s inclusion in the peace and security agenda and in society more broadly, is key to building and sustaining peace.” That sort of inclusion must start now, and as we mark the 2017 International Youth Day, every young person across the globe must hence contribute his/her quota to making the world a better place. The youth must start to champion the course as we battle against climate change.

If you don’t know how to go about it, the following points are there to help:

  • Get informed and Get involved

Visit www.paccpolicy.org to read up articles and follow the latest news on climate change. Join our community on twitter- @PaccPolicy and on Facebook- PACC Policy Volunteer Corps to get the latest updates on issues pertaining to climate change.

Become an active participant in the fight against climate change, do your best to reduce your carbon emissions whenever you can and then educate your family members, neighbours and friends.

  • Go the renewable energy route

Whenever you can, choose renewable energy sources (e.g.  Solar energy) over the non-renewable ones.  Also, switch off light bulbs when not in use and when leaving a room.

 

  • Walk more

Transportation is one of the major contributors to greenhouse gases emissions which cause climate change. Walking and cycling more could go a long way to reduce the emission of these gases thus reducing climate change.

 

  • Plant more trees

Trees use up carbon dioxide from the environment in the process of manufacturing their food (photosynthesis). Plants also release oxygen into the environment as a waste product of photosynthesis. Thus planting trees can go a long way in improving the carbon-oxygen balance in the environment and reducing climate change.

 

  • Support, Donate, or Volunteer

A lot of organizations like PACC POLICY are working tirelessly and very hard on the fight against climate change. These organizations could benefit greatly from your financial support and donations.

 

If you are not financially buoyant to support and donate to the fight against climate change in Africa, DO NOT FEEL BAD, you could ‘donate’ your time volunteering for the Pan African Centre for Climate Change, Pacc Policy. Visit www.paccpolicy.org for more information.

The gauntlet has now been laid, and the youth of the world must get actively involved. Statistics from the UN indicate that “the current generation of youth are the largest in history and young people often comprise the majority in countries.” With this, it is obvious that commitment of the youth will be very key in the fight against Climate Change.

And as we mark the 2017 International Youth Day, let it be a reminder to every young person around the globe that we have a role to play in the fight against Climate Change. The PACC Policy opens it doors to everyone.

 

By Adegbe Blessing Ojoshogu

Research Fellow

Email: blessing@paccpolicy.org

Edited by Emmanuel Ayamga

Associate Editor

Email: ayamga@paccpolicy.org