Climate change and the youth
Young people across the world are now at the helm of conversations about climate change. We continue to see the drastic effects which lead to harsh climate patterns like drought. Consequently, many children miss opportunities to grow into healthy adults due to malnutrition. For instance, Cyclone Idai in Mozambique was as a result of warm water temperatures. Families were displaced and there was major disruption in access to essential services in schools and hospitals.
Towards a Better Earth initiative
21-year-old Emma Ochieng began Towards a Better Earth initiative (TBEi) as a platform to raise awareness about climate change and the need for environmental sustainability. For Emma and her team, they had already seen initiatives that are trying to mitigate the effects of climate change. Majority of them are about tree planting. While such initiatives are important, she realized that many youth had no idea what climate change and other topics such as sustainability meant. As a result, the initiative aims to create sustainability through education in the areas of climate change conversations.
“People are now using social media to access information especially now with most people staying indoors due to the coronavirus pandemic. We have had a series of Twitter chats. For example, we hosted Lorraine Dickson to talk about sustainability in businesses. During this period, I have also got a chance to do a webinar with Green Rotaract on the need to rise up to the sustainability challenge. Since starting our initiative in September 2019, we are already having a far-reaching impact in terms of environmental awareness and consciousness. We strongly believe that partnerships are key to reaching more people.” Emma says.
“Currently I am also working on an online platform called Empower the Youth on Sustainability(EYS). It is a platform where young people who are interested in venturing into sustainable businesses can be linked to professionals in related fields, for real life perspectives, information and skill sharing aimed at building their competence and confidence in the space.
In the future, I also hope to start an organization where young people who are interested in venturing into sustainable businesses can get training on sustainable businesses and be nurtured on how they can come up with innovations that are inspired by nature. This is a combination of my passion and my studies at Pan Africa Christian University where I am pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Commerce and majoring in Finance,” she adds.
Sustainable business means that businesses endeavor to promote values and human rights with safe environments being one of them. Globally, the United Nations Global Compact brings together businesses that are committed to human rights. The organization has ten principles with different themes with the environment being embedded in Principle 7, 8, and 9. The seventh principle requires businesses to develop solutions for environmental challenges. The eighth principle requires them to promote activities that promote responsibility towards the environment. Finally, the ninth encourages business to develop environmentally friendly technologies. Learn more about Towards a Better Earth initiative here: < www.canva.com/design/DAD6iTSuRy0/vhB4Aumq2azHJZaLVYMteg/view?website#2:intro >