Climate change is among the most alarming problems humanity is facing right now. The global average yearly temperature changes naturally as the earth tilts its axis over long periods. However, human activity has been the primary driver of global warming since 1880. This is mostly attributed to carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels, but other greenhouse gasses are also a contributing factor.

To understand the potential role of young people in the fight against climate change, we talked to a representative from Youth With a Future. Youth With a Future is a non-profit organization that uses grants for youth programs to host workshops for young people in urban communities. The organization is devoted to teaching the youth skills and values to help them become leaders that bring about transformational change in their communities.

This article summarizes what we learned to form our interaction with the representative. Here’s why young people are essential to the fight against climate change.

Future Generations Must Do Better Than Us

Climate change is already affecting lives all throughout the world. All the world’s major nations are working towards solutions to lower carbon emissions to keep the planet hospitable for humans and other lifeforms. Still, we haven’t done nearly as much as we should have. Even if nations meet the promises they make at United Nations Climate Change Conferences, future generations will have to deal with more severe consequences of global warming than we are today.

We’ll hand over the planet to the next generation in a worse condition than we found it. The future generations must do better than us to save humanity and other life on earth from ecological collapse. Today’s youth must be more conscious of the environment and make better choices than us. Teaching young people about climate change is as important as any other effort against global warming.

Future generations can directly contribute to the fight against climate change in multiple ways. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Ways Today’s Youth Can Help Fight Climate Change

Raising Awareness of Climate Change

Many people still deny climate change despite consensus in the scientific community. However, thanks to the internet and social media, today’s youth are more open to ideas that may contradict their thoughts. Climate-conscious young people can raise awareness of climate change and its effects on today’s world to gather more people in the fight against climate change.

Staying Conscious of Our Own Carbon Footprint

Few people are aware of their own carbon footprint. Our impact on the environment is not just from the fuel we burn. Everything from the food we eat to the furniture we buy is manufactured using processes that emit carbon dioxide. If young people are taught to be conscious of the many ways we contribute to climate change, they may be more careful as adult consumers.

Incentivizing Companies to Choose Eco-Friendly Processes

Many young people already choose organic and cruelty-free products over those that don’t make any such claims. This shows that ethical concerns can influence buying decisions in addition to cost and product quality.

These tendencies can be channeled toward environmental consciousness, and market forces will drive industries toward sustainability. The consciousness of the environmental cost of different products in youth can incentivize companies to switch to more eco-friendly processes.

A bio-degradable box

Working Towards Sustainable Solutions

Young people can be inspired to work towards solutions to replace current processes with more environment-friendly ones. This doesn’t only include innovations in science and engineering but also business. For example, young entrepreneurs can start companies that offer already-invented environment-friendly products and use marketing tools to convince people to choose their products.

How to Empower Young People To Strive For Sustainability

The fight against climate change is a social cause. Few businesses, including schools, have any financial incentive right now to do anything about the environment. Youth development funds are our only hope to inspire young people to work against climate change.

Youth With a Future is an urban youth fund that hosts workshops for young people in urban areas to teach various skills and values. The organization is looking for grants to give urban communities a better future. Visit the organization’s donations page to contribute to its youth development fund.

About The Author

Sylvia Ballard is an environmentalist who writes articles on ways to fight climate change on various platforms. She’s also a social worker who believes non-profit organizations are the only way to solve social problems. This article summarized her current thoughts on the role of youth in the fight against climate change.