Climate Crisis

At COP26, Youth Activists From Around the World Call Out Decades of Delay

Young people from around the world strike at home and in Glasgow to protest climate inaction from government leaders.

Inside Climate News

By Delger Erdenesanaa | November 10, 2021

At COP26, Youth Activists From Around the World Call Out Decades of Delay
Glasgow COP 2021

A Sense of Extreme Urgency 

This push and pull between rich and poor countries, between large and small, extractive economies and the rest, has been a hallmark of each COP negotiation to date. But youth in bigger and more polluting countries are acutely aware of the consequences, and many feel a visceral urgency to halt the climate crisis.

“This could truly be our best last chance,” said Ema Govea, who marked her 18th birthday in late October in Washington by beginning a hunger strike in front of the White House. She was one of five young Americans who decided climate change warranted such an extreme form of protest. 

The strikers had wanted President Biden to pressure Democrats in Congress to pass the full scope of his climate agenda. The U.S. government owes strong climate action not just to Americans but to the world, Govea said. The countries gathered for COP26 are well aware that the United States is the largest historic emitter of greenhouse gases. 

Here are youth activists’ demands at COP26:

  • Limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius
  • Hand over the $100 billion in climate financing promised to developing countries, and
  • Immediately halt new fossil fuel projects.

More Coverage by The Nation

Youth Activists Fight for Their Future at COP 26

On emissions targets, on funding to developing nations, and on phasing out fossil fuels, youth are demanding that COP26 deliver.

More Coverage on NPR:

Clean up your mess, young activists tell leaders at COP26 climate summit