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Friend of Tortoise Exclusive

Sack the leaders: are young people the answer to a net-zero future?

Sack the leaders: are young people the answer to a net-zero future?

This event is exclusive to Friends of Tortoise

in partnership with Future Leaders Network (Y7)

Young people are no strangers to activism. Several young climate activists — Greta Thunberg, Vanessa Nakate and Alexandria Villaseñor to name a few — have led protests that have gathered momentum globally. From platforming the voices of young people fighting for their futures to becoming influential climate champions, young people are at the forefront of the campaign for climate justice. Despite this,  their voices often don’t reach the upper echelons of climate governance conversations.

Critics argued that youth participation at COP26 amounted to inviting “cherry-picked young people to meetings like this to pretend that they listen to us”, whilst world leaders simultaneously failed to commit to the drastic action necessary to protect the lives of young people and future generations.

So, how can young people turn their activism into impactful action, when it’s often a struggle just to get their voices heard? What evidence is there to illustrate that having young people around the negotiating table makes a meaningful difference in climate governance? And, is this narrative of old versus young helpful? 

editor and invited experts

Ellen Halliday

Emily Vernall
COP26 Youth Delegation