Yes, sadly, young people are largely excluded from conversations on climate policies and solutions. Children are also often positioned as victims of climate change, not stakeholders with a seat at the decision-making table.
Still, youth have the potential to make a great impact. In Malaysia, youth account for 43% of the country’s population. They are the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, which means they can also be the loudest voice to generate societal responses to combat climate change.
Since 2018, world renowned teen activist Greta Thunberg has shown that young people can bring unstoppable momentum to drive pressure for climate action—her one-person protest in front of the Swedish parliament has evolved into a Global Climate Strike involving millions.
In fact, in 2019, 16-year-old Thunberg lambasted world leaders at a UN climate summit for failing to tackle greenhouse gas emissions—proving that age is no barrier for speaking truth to power.