Growing up in a world on fire: youth-centred action against climate change

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing the world today, and young people are on the front lines of this crisis. With their energy, creativity, and determination, young people are leading the charge in the fight against climate change.

This last year, in November 2022, the role of youth in the fight against climate change was recognised, as they became official stakeholders in climate policy under the “Action Climate Empowerment” action plan established in Cairo during the COP27, in a context marked by the unrest of scientists and young people in the wake of governmental inaction to tackle the environmental crisis.

Recognizing the role of youth

The role of youth agency in the fight against climate change is crucial. With their passion, determination, and willingness to take action, young people are leading the global effort to protect the planet. As the next generation of leaders, and as the generation that will face the consequences of our current policies, it is essential that young people have a seat at the table that will decide and shape their future. By giving young people the support and resources they need, we can empower them to be agents of change and help create a more sustainable and equitable world.

Empowering through environmental education

In this line, in the last decades, formal education has started to reflect this environmental concern of the younger voices. The role that education has to play within environment policy was made explicit in the Resolution adopted by the Council of the European Union, in 1988, which argued that the objective of environmental education is to instil within young people a sense of personal responsibility for the health of the planet, meaning not only learning about environmental issues, but also taking action to address them (Stokes et al, 2001).

Environmental education helps students to develop their analytical and creative thinking abilities and encourages them to become more involved in the communities in which they live.

It aims to increase the public awareness of climate change, as well as possible solutions, and to lay the foundations for a fully informed and active participation of the individual in the protection of the environment and the prudent and rational use of natural resources (Council of the European Union, 1988).

This involves actions such as reducing one’s own carbon footprint, preserving natural resources, and supporting policies and practices that protect the environment. In these regards is where our project is framed. Save&Game aims to raise awareness about individual and community sustainability and strengthen young people’s purpose in the fight against climate change, providing pragmatic and interactive tools, to prepare the citizens of today to preserve tomorrow.

References:

European Council of Ministers. (1988). European Resolution on Environmental Education. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1115646.pdf

Stokes, E., Edge, A. and West, A. (2001). Environmental education in the educational systems of the European Union. London School of Economics and Political Science. https://inis.iaea.org/collection/NCLCollectionStore/_Public/41/072/41072598.pdf

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