5 Young Climate Activists Who Are Trying to Change the World

Written by Dayva Segal
Updated: November 20, 2022
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Our climate is changing due to human activity, and without significant action, it may change enough to significantly alter the ways in which we live and interact with our natural world. Because of this, many young people, who may be faced with a more challenging future due to these changes, have taken on the topic of climate change and become strong, outspoken advocates for mother earth. Here are five young climate activists who have been working on climate change in their communities and on a global scale.

What Do Climate Activists Do?

Climate activists try to inspire people to care more about our changing climate. They may do this through conventional or unconventional methods. Recently, a few climate activists have taken to throwing food on famous works of art to bring people’s attention to climate change. However, other methods include giving speeches, organizing strikes at work and school, hosting nature clean-up days, and scheduling marches, traffic disruptions, and other public protests. Some climate activists do most of their work online through social media. Others actually go and speak with government representatives to try to inspire change.

Greta Thunberg

Now 19, Greta Thunberg first learned about climate change at the age of eight. She became depressed when she realized how little was being done about it. She stopped talking and eating and lost more than 20 pounds in just two months. A few years after being diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum, and having OCD, and selective mutism at the age of 11, she turned her focus to activism in 2018. Her action started as a one-person protest at the Swedish Parliament that she called a “school strike” which was also modeled after school strikes created by the March for our Lives movement in the United States. She tried to get other kids involved, but they weren’t interested, so she started on her own. On the second day of her protest, other activists showed up to join her. From there, Greta started making speeches about climate change all over Europe. Since then, she has become one of the most passionate, well-known young climate activists and she continues to speak out strongly in favor of reforms to reduce the impacts of climate change globally.

Where to Follow:
Twitter
Instagram

Greta Thunberg

Greta Thunberg has become one of the most passionate, well-known young climate activists in the world.

©Anders Hellberg/CCBYSA4.0 – License

Licypriya Kangujam

Licypriya is one of the youngest climate activists on this list. She is from India and started her climate activist journey in 2018 when she was only seven years old. At this young age, she had the courage and tenacity to address the Indian parliament with several climate-based demands including air-pollution limits and a requirement for climate change education in Indian schools. Before she turned 10 years old, she had already visited 32 different countries to give speeches on climate change.

Licypriya has also had some controversy in her short time as a climate activist. A Times of India report showed that many awards she had won were given to her by her father’s companies and a scandal ensued. However, it shouldn’t discount the important work and speeches she has given to bring the plight of climate change to the forefront of people’s minds.

Where to follow:
Twitter
Instagram

Licypriya

Licypriya is from India and started her climate activist journey in 2018 when she was only seven years old.

©Dilanlekamge/CCBYSA4.0 – License

Elizabeth Wanjiru Wathuti

Elizabeth is a Kenyan activist who started a movement called the Green Generation Initiative. Through this movement, 30,000 tree seedlings have been planted in the country. The organization uses climate-focused solutions, like food forests, to address food insecurity in local communities and to help people appreciate and connect with nature even more. She was inspired by the time she spent in the beautiful central highlands of Kenya. She observed the amazing nature of the area but also saw how deforestation and other human activities changed the region. So, she wanted to get her community and country involved in the movement.

While she is, at 27, a bit older than the other young activists on this list. She has been passionate about the environment since childhood. She first planted a tree at the age of seven and started an environmental club at her school.

Where to Follow:
Instagram
Twitter

Elizabeth Wathyti

Elizabeth Wathyti was inspired by the time she spent in the beautiful central highlands of Kenya.

©Scottish Government/CCBY2.0 – License

Autumn Peltier

Autumn Peltier is an Anishinaabe climate activist from the Wiikwemkoong First Nation on Manitoulin Island in Ontario, Canada. The island is in Lake Huron, meaning that water is not only all around, but is central to daily life. Her climate activism focuses on water rights, including the right to clean water for drinking, especially for indigenous communities. She has spoken at the UN General Assembly and has won several awards for her important work. She is following in the footsteps of her aunt, Josephine Mandamin, who was also an activist for access to clean water.

Where to Follow:
Instagram
Twitter

Autumn Peltier

Autumn Peltier has spoken at the UN General Assembly and has won several awards for her important work.

©Marie Dubois/CCBYSA4.0 – License

Qiyun Woo

Qiyun Woo is a climate activist and content creator who has created unique illustrations to educate people about climate change in ways they can relate to it. She started her climate activist journey at the tender age of nine when she wrote a three-page essay about the topic after the death of Steve Irwin. She now writes for online publications about climate change and started a chapter of the “white Monday movement” in her home country of Singapore with fellow activist Sammie Ng. White Monday happens the Monday before Black Friday. On this day, people don’t buy anything, only buy second-hand items, or try to upcycle something they already have to inspire mindful consumption.

Are you inspired by these activists? Follow them on social media, learn about their work, and get your own community involved in the climate justice movement.

Where to Follow:
Instagram
Twitter

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The photo featured at the top of this post is © Anthony Quintano / flickr – License / Original


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About the Author

Dayva is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering astrology, animals, and geography. She has over 12 years of experience as a writer, and graduated from Hofstra University in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science in Music and a Minor in French. She has also completed course work in Core Strengths Coaching, Hypnotherapy, and Technical Communication. Dayva lives in the SF Bay Area with her cute but very shy cat, Tula.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What do climate activists do?

Climate activists try to inspire people to care more about our changing climate. They may do this through conventional or unconventional methods. Recently, a few climate activists have taken to throwing food on famous works of art to bring people’s attention to climate change. However, other methods include giving speeches, organizing strikes at work and school, hosting nature clean-up days, and scheduling marches, traffic disruptions, and other public protests.

How did Greta Thunberg start protesting for climate change?

Now 19, Greta Thunberg first learned about climate change at the age of eight. She became depressed when she realized how little was being done about it. She turned her focus to activism in 2018. Her action started as a one-person protest at the Swedish Parliament that she called a “school strike.”

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.

Sources
  1. Her World, Available here: https://www.herworld.com/women/women-now/greenfluencer-woo-qiyun-save-environment/
  2. Wikipedia, Available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qiyun_Woo
  3. Green Generation Initiative, Available here: https://greengenerationinitiative.org/what-we-do/
  4. Earth.org, Available here: https://earth.org/young-climate-activists-leading-the-way-on-global-climate-action/
  5. Rescue.org, Available here: https://www.rescue.org/uk/article/12-climate-activists-inspiring-us-fight-climate-change
  6. Wikipedia, Available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greta_Thunberg
  7. Wikipedia, Available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autumn_Peltier
  8. Wikipedia, Available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Licypriya_Kangujam