The hopes of the world rest on young people.” – UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres Youth and climate change.

The hopes of the world rest on young people.” – UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres Youth and climate change.

The hopes of the world rest on young people.” – UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres Youth and climate change.

By: Ms Hana Kirreh

In fact, young people comprise a large part of the world’s population. That is why they can play an active role in protecting and improving the environment and create creative plans and decisions to mitigate and adapt to climate change risks.

Climate change is one of the most significant challenges worldwide in the twenty first century. Climate change has wide and multiple impacts on human life and future. Impacts range from food security to agriculture spread of diseases and more. That’s why there is an urgent need to mitigate and find solutions to climate change risks.

Youth feel helpless and powerless, unable to take action, or do things that really matter to them, that is because governments and large corporations are the ones taking important decisions without involving youth in decision making Palestinian youth are deprived of practicing their rights to freedom of movement and they feel that because of the military occupation measures of checkpoints and the separation wall feels like in prison and that limit their freedom.

It is important to take into consideration the presence of youth in the national landscape by empowering them and invite them to participate in decision-making and strategy planning. All youth the, marginalized and youth with disabilities need to be included in the national strategic plan and to integrate them in social activities and labor market.

Palestinian Youth use simple tools to address issues of climate change and environment as participating in voluntary cleaning campaigns to collect garbage from forest areas and plant trees through agricultural cooperatives. Youth also work on recycling plastic, glass and bottles. Youth contribute to limit pollution control where youth can help to reduce waste by paying attention to minor details in their daily lives, for example, not to take extra plastic bags when we go shopping and the use of cloth bags instead. Youth also play a crucial role in organizing campaigns using social media like Facebook, twitter or Instagram to promote climate change and greener environmental awareness to the public.

Talking about climate change risks and hazards do not exclude youth. Young people are not only victims of climate change. They are also valuable contributors to climate action. They are agents of change, entrepreneurs and innovators.

It is noted that major changes are only possible if countries and corporations work on their policies and actions to meet youth needs and demands. In addition, youth as individuals also have the potential to make difference. Youth can work on small actions, or larger initiatives to make change possible. To do so, active organizations with climate change need to work with youth and make information on climate change accessible and provide them with educational tools, websites and publications. Engaging youth in environmental protection not only creates direct impact on changing youth behaviours and attitudes, but possibly influence their parents, relatives and families and their communities at large.