You are here

C.3.c.iii. Youth and Student Activism

Re-visioning Our Relationship with the Earth: lessons from "Rights of Nature and System Change in Climate Solutions", 2017

Report on meeting held in conjunction with the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature which was part of mobilization around People's Climate march and UN Climate summit in New York City 2014.

The Big Story: Global Climate Protests, Guardian Weekly, 27/09/2019, pp. 10-14

Covers the demonstrations by school children and students in an estimated 185 countries with a photo of a protest in Nairobi, Kenya, and an overview of the protests in their environmental and political context. Coverage also includes brief statements from young activists in Australia, Thailand, India, Afghanistan, South Africa, Ireland and the US; the speech by Greta Thunberg to the UN Climate Action summit in New York; and 10 charts explaining the climate crisis.

See also: Milman, Oliver, 'Crowds Welcome Thunberg to New York after Atlantic Crossing ', The Guardian, 29 Aug. 2019, p.3.

Reports on Thunberg's arrival in New York where she was to address the UN Climate Action summit on reaching zero carbon emissions.

The Big Story: Kids v. Climate Change, Guardian Weekly, 15/02/2019, pp. 10-14

Covers the origins of the School Strike Movement in Greta Thunberg's solitary protest outside the Swedish Parliament, charts 'The snowball effect' prints Thunberg's speech at the Davos Economic Forum in January 2019, and summarizes a week of bad climate news.

Youth Climate Action Takeover, 22-28 April 2019, The Big Issue, 2019, pp. 19-39

This special supplement in the paper focusing especially on the homeless (and sold by them) takes up the climate crisis and the role of youth activism. Features young people arguing for climate change to be on the school curriculum, and interviewing the UK Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, Caroline Lucas (the sole Green MP in the UK Parliament), and representatives of Marks and Spencer about their clothing and recycling policies. Includes interviews with young naturalists and activists in different parts of the country.

My Name is not Greta Thunberg': Why Diverse Voices Matter in the Climate Movement, The Elders, 19/06/202,

Xiye Bastida, an 18 y-ear old Mexican-Indigenous climate activist recounts her own experiences and stresses the need to recognize the diversity of the climate justice movement in order to achieve a more equitable and sustainable future.

Fridays for Future: How the Young Climate Movement Has Grown since Greta Thunberg's Lone Protest, The Conversation, 28/08/2020,

Explores briefly the Fridays for Future movement and its interconnection with the struggle against systemic racism.

See also: FridaysforFuture website page: 

See also: 'Young voices on the Frontlines of Climate Change', The Elders' Blog,

An update of experiences of climate activists from both the Global North and the Global South.

Harvey, Fiona, Young People Resume Global Climate Strikes Calling for Urgent Action , Guardian, 25/09/2020,

Compares the September 2020 Friday strikes (in about 3,500 places worldwide) which were constrained by Covid related social distancing measures, with the 2019 week of action involving at least six million. The article also provides a link to a 24-hour global zoom call covering regional issues and links to forms of activism, especially digital activism.

O'Brien, Karen ; Selboe, Elin ; Hayward, Bronwyn, Exploring youth activism on climate change, Ecology and Society, Vol. 23, issue 3, 2018, pp. 1-14

The authors examine youth opposition to policies and practices that lead to climate change, noting that differing forms of climate activism have differing results. They focus on three types that oppose power relationships and political interests: ‘dutiful, disruptive, and dangerous dissent’

Rathi, Akshat, United We Are Unstoppable: 60 Inspiring Young People Saving Our World, London, John Murray Press, 2020, pp. 265

This book, edited by a climate journalist, features accounts from young activists around the world.  Individuals in very different social and environmental contexts, and with varying motives and goals, recount their contributions to reducing climate change.

Woods, Lucy, Young Climate Heroes, Mar-Apr 2020, New Internationalist, 2020, pp. 67-72

Survey of youth climate activism in schools and universities in Canada, focused on the climate impacts of excess consumption and fast fashion, symbolized by the November 2019 'Black Friday' shopping spree. Based on interviews with six young Canadians involved in a rang e of environmental activism.