Young people in the global south have been tackling the climate crisis for years. They should be celebrated too
Ridhima Pandey was just nine years old in 2017 when she filed a lawsuit against the Indian government for failing to take action against climate change. Pandey’s fierce, astounding passion for the environment is not accidental. Her mother is a forestry guard and her father an environmental activist; and the whole family was displaced by the Uttarakhand floods of 2013, which claimed hundreds of lives.
In Kenya Kaluki Paul Mutuku has been actively involved in conservation since college, where he was a member of an environmental awareness club, and has been a member of the African Youth Initiative on Climate Change since 2015. Raised in rural Kenya by a single mother, Mutuku’s vigorous activism, like Pandey’s, was inspired by the direct challenges his family (and wider community) faced from the effects of climate change: “Growing up, I witnessed mothers cover kilometres to fetch water,” he says.