The Global Week of Change in September of 2019 marked a historic event for the Earth’s current condition. This international climate strike united over 180 countries to strike in solidarity and support of the mission to stop the adverse effects of climate change. Aside from these popular faces appearing at the march, are the sixteen children who are petitioning the United Nations Committee on the “Right of the Child” to hold five of the world’s leading economic powers accountable for inaction on the climate crisis.
- Greta Thunburg
The Climate Strike first received major attention when 16-year-old Swedish student, Greta Thunberg, began protesting outside of Swedish Parliament during school hours. She inspired students worldwide to take action and be an active ally against the climate crisis. Greta set sail to America to attend the United Nations Climate Summit, where she expressed her frustration at the national leaders whose decisions were destroying the environment.
- Autumn Peltier
Autumn Peltier, a 14-year-old Anishinaabe water advocate from the Wiikwemkoong First Nation, addressed the UN for World Water Day and spoke on behalf of all indigenous nations within Canada in order to protect the natural water sources. Peltier is a 2019 International Peace Prize nominee and continues to travel to stress of the importance of sustainable water development.
- Mari Copeny
Mari Copeny, also known as Michigan’s own Little Miss Flint, is a water activist who has been advocating for clean water for her hometown of Flint, Michigan. The city has been without clean water for almost six years since April 2014. Copeny has been raising awareness across the country, setting up GoFundMe’s, and even, designing her own water filter to help process the lead-contaminated water in Flint.
The fact that children are being affected by the climate crisis is becoming a normal part of society. The majority of protesters for climate change are children, young adults, and their parents. The reason for this? It’s their future. It is easy for people of power to make decisions that damage society, and we may forget that when they leave this Earth, a new generation must deal with the consequences of those decisions. This is where the anger, the passion, and the activism is coming from in the younger generation. The sad reality is that there is a serious climate crisis occurring. The good news is that it is not too late. There is something about the young voices taking a stand about their future that is inspiring hearts around the globe. To find out more about the 16 young voices who are finding a solution to the climate change problem, check out childrenvsclimate.org. These voices, despite their age, should be considered and respected. It is a reminder that despite what walks of life we all come from, we only get one mother earth, and there’s no one better to make these decisions for her well-being than her future protectors.