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Eight young climate activists

Everyone is talking about climate change. It's an issue that is hard to ignore. 

But there are simple actions you can take to help create a better future. 

Climate change is how we see and feel the changes in the weather, such as the temperature and the rainfall patterns that people have lived with for generations. What we see now in our climate is different from what your parents and grandparents experienced. These changes have been caused by human activity and are happening rapidly. 

We are seeing more frequent and extreme weather events, like droughts, bushfires, cyclones and floods. They impact young people's rights to clean air, safe water and nutritious food, healthcare, education and more. 

Now, with nearly half of the world’s children living in countries that are at extremely high risk from the impacts of climate change, it has become a child rights crisis, but with every action, no matter how small, we can positively impact our future.  

NextGen: a UNICEF Australia podcast 

‍NextGen: a UNICEF Australia podcast

Here at UNICEF Australia, we’re giving young people a platform to speak up on issues they care about. In every episode, our UNICEF Australia Ambassador and your podcast host, Rae Johnston, is passing the mic to young people and experts as we discuss everything from climate change to mental health and inequality.

COP28: Why can't we go faster

A child in Burundi jumping across flooded streets© UNICEF/UN0436094/Prinsloo

Why is climate action so important?

Climate change is causing disasters like bushfires, droughts, cyclones and flooding to happen more often and with more intensity. This can cause a food shortage, poor water quality and a higher risk of disease. If we do not act now, every single child and young person around the world will feel the devastating effects. 

Ugandan climate activist Vanessa Nakate is recognised for her outstanding global advocacy for climate justice for current and future generations.
Ugandan climate activist Vanessa Nakate is recognised for her outstanding global advocacy for climate justice for current and future generations.
© UNICEF/UN0705485/Paul

Young leaders demand action and inspire hope

As the impacts of climate change intensify each year, more and more young people, like Vanessa are joining the movement for positive change. By leading the discussion around climate change, they also spread awareness and motivate others to take action. 

Did you know? 

90%

A 2020 survey found that 90 per cent of Aussie kids surveyed have experienced at least one natural disaster, like bushfires or floods.

2 billion tons

Every year, people throw out 2 billion tons of garbage. About a third of that causes environmental harms, from choking water supplies to poisoning soil.

The time for action is now! 

Climate change is the defining challenge of our generation, but we can all make choices in our day-to-day life that will tackle climate change and take care of our planet. 

Be a climate champion

Learning more about climate change is the first step to taking action. Now more than ever, young people need the knowledge and skills to care for the environment and climate.

Spread the word

Talk to your family, friends, school and local businesses about climate action. Post about it on social media and join climate-related groups and movements.

Walk, bike or catch public transport

When you walk or ride a bike instead of driving, you’re helping the environment and your health. For longer distances, catch a train or bus.

Reduce, reuse, repair and recycle

How your electronics, clothes, toys and other items are made impacts our environment. Simply buy fewer things, shop second-hand, and repair what you can.

Eat more fruit and veggies

Producing plant-based foods generally requires less energy, land, and water. So, eat more seasonal veggies, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds.

Throw away less food

When you throw food away, you're also wasting the resources and energy that were used to grow, produce, package, and transport it. So, buy only what you need and compost any leftovers.

Plant native species

If you have a garden or pot plants, ensure they are native as they adapt easily to the local weather and native birds and insects will thrive on the food source.

Chuck it in the bin

Humans, animals and plants all suffer from polluted land and water. Dispose of your rubbish properly and participate in local clean-ups of parks, rivers and beaches.

Spend your money for good

Everything we spend money on affects the planet. To reduce your environmental impact, choose products from companies who are committed to sustainable practices.

Jobod raises his voice for climate action 

Climate action in the Pacific

High school students in Burundi participating in the Creatable Project, which focuses on applying STEM to real world problems.
High school students in Burundi participating in the Creatable Project, which focuses on applying STEM to real world problems.
© UNICEF Burundi/2022

The STEM program changing lives in Burundi

In Burundi, 90 per cent of people live in rural areas. Many families still cook on open fires, which uses a lot of firewood and causes health risks due to smoke inhalation. Women and girls are often responsible for collecting firewood, which can put them in danger and take time away from their studies. Thanks to the Creatable program taught in local high schools, more young girls like 16-year-old Gislaine can participate in STEM subjects, while also improving their day-to-day lives.  

Climate action resources 

Child rights infographic

The Rights of the Child and climate change

Here are just some of the Rights of the Child that can impact you when it comes to climate change.

No. 26 Governments should provide support if you need it to keep you healthy and safe. 

No. 27 You have the right to food, clothes to wear and a safe place to live. 

No. 31 You have the right to play and rest.