Climate change: COP25 recognises that children are leading climate change activism

Climate change: COP25 recognises that children are leading climate change activism

11 December 2019 02:02 pm

United Nation (UN) officials have said that children and young people should be at the heart of dealing with the climate crisis.

The Secretary General of the UN, Antonio Guterres, said that young people were "bringing human rights to life".

He went on to say: "Globally, young people are marching, organising, and speaking out: For the right to a healthy environment, for the equal rights of women and girls, to participate in decision-making, and to express their opinions freely."

Mr Guterres's speech came as countries meet in Madrid for the COP25 conference on climate change.

In October, Penelope Lea, a 15-year old from Norway, was the first climate activist chosen to be an ambassador for Unicef - the UN's children's organisation.

Penelope is the second-youngest Unicef ambassador of all time.

She's been involved in climate issues since she was eight years old and was elected to the board of Eco-Agents, an environmental organisation for children, at the age of 11.

Speaking at COP25, she said: "We need to keep giving the decision-makers the power to make the changes we need to see... some say we have to wait for people to get ready for change. But we need to make people ready. These are some of the things the youth movement is trying to do."

This year has seen young people speaking up for causes more than ever before with the hope of the people in charge taking notice.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet pointed out: "We owe a debt of gratitude to all those millions of children, teenagers and young adults who have been standing up and speaking out more and more loudly about the crisis facing our planet."

Among the other people from all different countries meeting are many young climate campaigners including Greta Thunberg .

The teenager that got the world's kids striking travelled by boat as it was better for the environment and took part in a big climate change demonstration.

"The change we need is not going to come from people in power," Greta told the demonstrators. "The change is going to come from the people, the masses, demanding change."

(Photos: GETTY / UN, Norway)