LETTERS FROM THE YOUTH ENVOY 

EARTH DAY 2020

"Earlier this month, we celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day. Although we could not gather in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I was so pleased to join young people all over the world to mark the day virtually. I’m really encouraged by these young leaders who are not letting the current situation stop them from speaking out on climate change. 

  

As part of Earth Day Live, I was honored to moderate a conversation between United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed and six young climate activists who have moved their advocacy online. We talked about continuing to hold governments and businesses accountable on climate change in this online era and what life looks like after COVID-19.  

  

I was also really thrilled to join We The Planet for an Instagram live conversation before Earth Day, and, at their request, I pledged to take both individual and systemic action to address climate change. I promised to turn off the lightbulbs when I don’t need them, cook with local produce, and cut down on my travel. If you're interested, visit the UN’s ActNow webpage to learn more about taking individual action on climate change. I’ll also continue to advocate for the inclusion of youth voices and perspectives in climate negotiations, providing a space within the United Nations for young people’s voices to be heard.  

  

And, finally, this Earth Day I enjoyed hearing from young people who are speaking their truth on a platform I created last year, Reach Not Preach. Check out the Reach Not Preach platform to read opinions from young people mobilizing to address climate change in their own countries and communities around the world. 

  

To celebrate earth day, I asked young people to keep organizing, keep innovating, and keep advocating for the world that they want to live in. Let’s keep up the momentum, even in these uncertain times. 

 

Stay safe, stay healthy, and let’s continue to advocate for climate action. 
 

Jayathma Wickramanayake,

UN Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth