By Faith Atieno

In an attempt to achieve the 1.5 degree climate target, the young people are making their voices heard and demanding the action needed to prevent catastrophic climate change in our lifetime.

This sentiment was shared  during a conversation held by United Nations (UN) leaders, advocates and influencers, at the SDG Studio in New York, on key areas of climate action during COP26, Youth Day.

The UN Deputy Secretary General, Amina Mohammed, noted that it is the important to hear the voice of the young leaders as they tackle climate issues.

Responding to whether the world is failing the young and what to do to reassure them that the world is working with and for them to make a better world, Mohammed said that the UN is stepping up in terms of implementation of the Paris Agreement especially with the Secretary General’s, António Guterres leadership.

” I think that you’ve seen the Secretary General’s leadership in bringing all parties together and really pushing for the max. I think that his relationship with the youth has grown,” she said.

According to Nathan Metenier, UN Secretary General Youth Advisory on Climate Change, young people have concerns on what COP26 needs to do  to ensure not only climate action but social justice is achieved in the Group of Twenty (G20) countries.

“Young people today, we are asking for not just climate action as we said before but making sure that this climate action is rooted to social justice,” said Metenier.

In order to attain sustainability and climate change it is important to equip and empower young people with the skills they need to drive the future of climate action as well as ensure representation of diversity among the leaders.

According to Metenier, there’s need in empowering the youth and the next generation of leaders on these issues. Also, UN philanthropic actors, foundations and states need to invest in their youth to ensure the climate action is met.

Dia Mirza, SDG Advocate, says that the participation of the youth in the summit through the questions asked and the solutions they are demanding is the beginning of taking a huge step towards attaining the 1.5 degree world.

As Mirza said, it is the leadership of the youth and their representation at the COP26 that will take the G20 nations to where they need to be. It is therefore upon the young people to stand up and start pushing to the maximum towards ensuring that there is climate justice and climate rights through achieving social justice as well as the human rights.