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Youth Voices, Unfiltered


Scroll through to see young people's take on the global climate emergency, and the work that they are doing to fight against climate change.
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Time for Green Recovery: Youth Led Action by Oladosu Adenike

Time for Green Recovery: Youth Led Action by Oladosu Adenike

We are a world where every bit of warming matters and everyday counts. Have we thought that we are in peace time yet people are dying in thousands while millions of livelihoods are threatened by the coronavirus raging the whole world? Must every century come with a pandemic that the world system cannot withstand before calling for a change in the system? We missed the plans of securing green spaces in the 2018 financial recession that was already giving signs of the weak economy systems of operation. Here is another chance in the post COVID-19 to diversify our economies from where it was and position it to where it should be. The green recovery pathway seeks to provide us all it needed in tackling climate change as the world opens into the new normal. Oil prices have drastically fallen beyond a reasonable doubt; the aviation sector is counting their losses as the rate of travels decline by 90%. We now have all the chances to stand for a sustainable lifestyle. This is just a tip of what the world of zero-emission look like in some part of the world that now have quality airspace and cleaner water bodies than it was.

Thus, before the coronavirus pandemic, we live everyday suffering from the “self-inflicted” emission that is gradually taking over the earth. Furthermore, the unlimited carbon footprint keeps rising every day from all regions of the earth; directly or indirectly. Last year, the earth “overshoot” occurred on the 5th month, earlier than previous years. We give little to the earth and take much from her. Truthfully, we are debtors to the earth; much is expected for us to give back to the earth to stabilize it. Similarly, cyclones are becoming a yearly affair, hitting affected countries strongly. So devastating! Is this a sign that nature that is our neighbor is fighting back to claim its space? Climate change is never taking a break. We are still in a race that we must win; we have no reason to lose.

Nevertheless, green recovery is a vaccinated approach to solving pandemics including public health threats like coronavirus. It includes; renewable energy that provides us with unlimited revenue generation to our GDP, a clean environment that revolves around good sanitation, investment in low or zero-carbon infrastructure, upgrade in technology to reduce carbon footprint, and other vital opportunities. All of these aspects tend to create millions of jobs and build creative thinking through innovative ideas. The true climate justices we seek are important more than never. However, we can’t forget the Green New Deal and at the same time; this is a call for yearly renewal of the plan to make it encompassing. The pandemic has exposed a lot about the system we operate on. More importantly, the more we go for the green agenda, the more we see our varied needs being solved.

To every green demand, there must be a green action.

I started the green recovery action 8 weeks ago. I have been campaigning by sharing videos online and articles for green recovery post COVID-19 as the world open their economies into the new normal while we plan for green projects that seek to empower communities. It is great to see world leaders, mayors, companies, and countries pledging their support for this movement: adding their voice to call for a build back better through the green recovery stimulus plans. Prior to this time, I have included green democracy to my demand for climate justice. A democracy that is not only for the people but include the environment, we can achieve world peace with this. Today we have environmental instability affecting the wellbeing of humans but a green democracy that is a government of the people and the environment, for the people and the environment, and by the people and the environment. The right approaches are needed in sustaining the green recovery process in every country in avoidance of another disruption.

Already, this year ought to be a green year. Countries are to submit their new or revised National Climate Action Plans; a key towards realizing the Paris Agreement and strengthening the Sustainable Development Goals tract. As well, this is the start of a decade in which the world must cut emissions by 45% of global warming is to be limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius. It is an ambitious plan not to be driven by world leaders alone but everyone and everywhere. More than ever before, the world needs to be focused on attaining these goals since it is an integral part of building a national green foundation. A greener future matters so in order to safeguard future generations from further pandemics.


About the Author

Oladosu Adenike focuses on climate change, women in conflict zone and national security. Campaigning for green democracy, climate governance and green recovery. The founder of “Lead Climate” and African Youth Climate Hub (AYCH) Ambassador (

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Office of the Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth supports all young people and their diversity in exercising their right to freedom of expression. Reach Not Preach platform serves as a safe space for all young people to share their take on the topic of climate change. The views expressed in the Reach Not Preach platform are those of their authors and do not necessarily reflect the view or policies of the United Nations Office of the Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth and the United Nations.

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