As Golden jubilee of Earth Day is being celebrated around the world on the theme of climate action, it is important to acknowledge the work of young climate activists who drew everyone’s attention towards evolving environmental crisis. Thousands of young climate activists have been actively campaigning for tangible climate action but some of them have led from the front to strengthen the movement.
Greta Thunberg has been one of the leading voices on climate action and drew the world’s attention during her powerful speech at the United Nations on climate change on September 23, 2019. Thunberg, a 17-year old student from Stockholm, first made headlines when she sat outside the Swedish Parliament and called it ‘School strike for the climate’. She skipped the school for it where attendance is compulsory for a student her age.
Born to opera singer Malena Ernman and actor Svante Thunberg, Greta was eight years old when she heard about the climate change for the first time and wondered why so little was being done about it. According to the book ‘Scenes from the Heart’, written by Greta’s mother Malena Ernman, Thunberg urged her parents to change the lifestyle to lower the carbon emissions which they eventually did.
Another such climate warrior is Ridhima Pandey, a native of Haridwar, who filed a complaint at the United National General Assembly during the 74th session to protest lack of government action on the climate crisis. Pandey had also filed a petition in 2017 to the National Green Tribunal (NGT) against the government for failing to take action on climate change, highlighting the growing concern over pollution and environmental degradation in the country.
Licypriya Kangujam, an 8-year-old Manipuri climate activist, addressed the world leaders in Mongolia at a United Nations event on July 4, 2018, and started the movement called 'Child Movement’. Often referred to as ‘Greta of India’, Kangujam has frequently objected to it saying she has her own identity even if they have the same goal.
Dear Media,— Licypriya Kangujam (@LicypriyaK) January 27, 2020
Stop calling me “Greta of India”. I am not doing my activism to looks like Greta Thunberg. Yes, she is one of our Inspiration & great influencer. We have common goal but I have my own identity, story. I began my movement since July 2018 even before Greta was started. pic.twitter.com/3UEqCVWYM8