The Vital Role of Youth in Combating the Climate Change Crisis

By Seliphar Machoni

The role played by youth in tackling the climate crisis is crucial. In Kenya, we have witnessed young people forming various organizations and devising policies aimed at addressing this looming disaster. They continue to take a leading role in advocating for responsible climate behavior while demanding greater political will from both government and private sector players. Knowledge of green skills enables them to develop more effective policies and strategies towards achieving a sustainable world.

Green skills are those that contribute to environmental sustainability by reducing pollution levels and conserving natural resources. According to Seraphine Santana Ojiambo, an environmentalist working with Team Environment Kenya and Greenslum Innovation Hub, there is an urgent need for more young people with these essential skills.

“In today’s society, particularly within Kenya, many youths lack these critical abilities which hinder their participation in activities geared towards transitioning into a green economy. This year’s International Youth Day theme focusing on green skills is a positive step towards bringing about the necessary change we seek,” said Seraphine during our phone interview.

She added that increasing numbers of young people are becoming ambassadors for climate change advocacy through numerous societal activities aimed at finding solutions for creating safer communities. “Kenyan youths play a significant role in combating the climate crisis by raising awareness among all stakeholders on responsible climate behavior such as proper plastic disposal techniques, undertaking environmental clean-up initiatives, planting trees up until maturity stage among other activities,” she explained enthusiastically.

Seraphine highlighted that having green skills would make it easier for youth who voluntarily participate in these efforts because they provide practical knowledge geared towards developing long-lasting solutions beneficial to society as well as providing opportunities for innovation income generation.

In conclusion, she called upon Kenyan youth to come out  in large numbers and acquire the expertise needed when communicating confidently about issues concerning the climate change crisis via social media platforms or grassroots initiatives targeting local communities sensitization campaigns.

“Advocacy remains instrumental if we hope to build a better future stronger future not only ourselves but also generations yet unborn. I urge all Kenyan youths out there; let us join hands together so that collectively we can do what is necessary toward securing our planet’s sustainable future.”

Climate change crisis has become a crucial challenge in this era. It has a diverse effect on different sectors such as agriculture, environment and others. More strategies and policies have to be formed to fight this. Youths as the greatest ambassadors of the climate change crisis having green knowledge will help in finding solutions to the crisis.

In 2022 the world was at 1.1°C warmer than it was in the pre-industrial era, and failure to act urgently could possibly result in an increase of 1.5°C-2°C between 2026 and 2042. Climate change poses a serious risk to the fundamental rights of people of every age. Extreme weather such as droughts, floods and heatwaves, and their effects of food and water insecurity, livelihood losses, famines, and wildfires exacerbate inequalities and disproportionately affect vulnerable groups, among them are young people and children.

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