The importance of youth

Youth play an important and unique role. They can add a real sense of urgency to climate talks by stressing that the future — which may seem abstract to policymakers, industry, and the public — is very real for them. When scientists say, "This is what the world is going to be like in the year 2050," this young generation will live through those major changes. The threats are very real, and so is the need to immediately implement solutions.

The most useful element that youth bring to the table is optimism and high energy. They also invoke a sense of moral obligation in their elders. The involvement is genuine and fresh, and the lack of years of experience means that most youth see climate change with a sense of simplicity. When youth speak about global warming, they do so without employing numbing jargon or invoking complex political issues. What matters to them is their future, and they say so purely and simply.

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