International Youth Day

Friday 12 August 2022

The effects of human-made climate change are a major issue for scientists, researchers, and policymakers. The young people of today are the adults of tomorrow, which puts key significance on the need for our youth to take the lead to tackle climate change and protect their environment in Pakistan. This International Youth Day, we invoke youth all around the world to join hands and use their skills and expertise for an accelerated improvement in the actions needed for climate change mitigation.

Intergenerational equity is a notion that views the human community as a partnership among all generations, and climate change is often seen as an issue of intergenerational equity, because over consumption of resources now creates costs for future generations. However, radical mitigation now would reverse the problem, creating immediate costs for current generations, while the benefits would be primarily for future ones.

Each generation, especially the youth, has the right to inherit the same diversity in natural and cultural resources enjoyed by previous generations, and to equitable access to the use and benefits of these resources. This makes it even more necessary and critical to achieve sustainable development goals.

Sustainable development is inherently intergenerational because it implies that we must use our environment in a way that is compatible with maintaining it for future generations. We need to spread awareness, switch to adopting healthier life choices, and limit the consumption of non-renewable and depleting resources. This intergenerational perspective constrains our overuse of the environment and its resources, including water, to ensure that the future generations enjoy as much access to these resources as the previous generations.

Our youth can play a critical role here, as they can be envoys of the environment and resources, prompting people and societies to switch to environmentally friendly lifestyles, bring innovative ideas to the table regarding the mitigation actions we can take, promote eco-friendly goods, run social media campaigns, and most importantly, take individual action, because the compounding effect of small individual actions is truly remarkable and transformational!

Furthermore, the youth’s right to a healthful environment should be viewed in the context of a duty to future generations. The duty to preserve and protect the environment is a duty that is owed not merely to all other human beings, non-human beings, and inanimate objects in present time but extends also to future generations.

As we celebrate international youth day together with our partners, we must ensure that our youth is heard and included in the decision-making process, by highlighting solutions developed by them to address food security, intergenerational disparity, climate change, sustainable development, and other challenges.

So this International Youth Day, let’s rejoice the notable contribution our youth can make to make Pakistan a sustainable, climate change resistant, and empowered country!

Eisha Ayub

Youth Climate Activist