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The Climate Kids Are Right

Today's youth are the victims of the worst – and the worst imaginable – instance of intergenerational injustice in human history. The worldwide climate strikes make it clear that adults must involve young people in critical decisions affecting the future of the planet.

AMSTERDAM – Our young people have never known a world without global warming. Many have first-hand experience of the ravages of climate change – from forest fires in California to drought in the Sahel. Kids in Florida and the Seychelles know that their communities may soon disappear under rising seas. In New Delhi and Beijing, they know that breathing the local air is like smoking 50 cigarettes a day. Their generation is about to inherit an uninhabitable planet.

For today’s youth, the fact that their elders have done so little to combat climate change represents a monumental abdication of responsibility. They are the victims of the worst – and the worst imaginable – instance of intergenerational injustice in human history.

That is why young people are taking matters into their own hands by striking to demand urgent climate action. The youth strikes have spread far and fast, and are now a global phenomenon. How should we adults respond? How do we involve our young people in critical decisions that will determine their future? And how do we give them hope?

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