Blog - Youth empowerment

Darcey Roberts-Waite

Young people have been at the forefront of the debate on climate change in recent years. Torfaen resident Darcey Roberts-Waite, who studying A Levels in biology, geography and environmental science, explains why it's important young people take action.  

I recently spoke to Professor Dave Waltham, a professor from the Department of Earth Sciences at the Royal Holloway University, in London, from the United Nations COP26 conference in Glasgow.

He had an optimistic outlook on the conference and believed it may be a turning point in climate action. 

It was good to hear how hopeful for the future he is, especially when you consider the negative, upsetting, and horrific headlines that have become all too common.

While it's important to remain hopeful, hope without action is meaningless – as are actions without empowerment. For actions to be implemented, empowerment must have a key role. Empowerment, in my eyes, is equality and the freedom to choose what one's future holds.

Greta Thunberg is empowerment. I attended a Youth for Climate Strike in Bristol early last year, just before the pandemic. It was estimated that around 30,000 people were in attendance, every single one of whom was empowered to take action, remain hopeful, and make meaningful change.

Youth empowerment and public engagement has been a focus of the CO26 presidency programme - issues that have never been more critical in overcoming the climate crisis.

Ultimately, when COP26 is over and each world leader jumps on their jets back home, it will be today's generation of youth who will have to conquer the challenges caused by the big corporations. We will be the ones who must adapt to a harsh and despairing planet.

But we won't see change on the world stage until we see change at the grassroots.

On a local scale, one way of ensuring the Welsh Government listens to our desperate pleas is by contacting our local MP Nick Thomas-Symonds and Member of Senedd Lynne Neagle. Email them, attend surgeries, establish a relationship with them and work with them to progress and achieve real climate action.

Because now is no time for talking. Words without action are just words. Now is a time for action, for empowerment, for making our voices heard before it's too late.

Last Modified: 05/11/2021
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