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You have your own problems; why should you care about climate change?

“My generation has largely failed until now to preserve both justice in the world and to preserve the planet. It is your generation that must make us be accountable to make sure that we don’t betray the future of humankind.” — United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres

Let’s face it; young people are feeling the effects of climate change in a variety of ways. However, some people still don’t understand climate change or its effects on the world.

I believe that at some point, this is because most people are concerned with personal issues rather than global issues, if that makes sense.

You can’t be worried about being unable to pay your bills while also being concerned about a rare breed of koala becoming extinct somewhere in Australia. However, this must change.

Climate change is an issue that demands your full attention and here are my reasons.

There is no planet B

You may have heard about the extreme heat that has affected millions of people in Asia, America, Europe, North Africa, Australia, and the Pacific islands.

Perhaps you’ve heard that people are staying indoors to avoid serious health problems caused by the heat. You may have heard that some people spent a few days in hospitals after passing out, but did you know why?

Climate change is to blame for the rise in global temperatures. Carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping greenhouse gasses that people have added to the atmosphere through activities that use fossil fuels such as oil, gasoline, diesel, propane, coal, and natural gas have caused recent climate changes.

The emission of these greenhouse gases, as well as other activities, has caused the earth to heat up, with various consequences.

This has a direct impact on young people because it affects their work in various sectors such as agriculture, among others.

This is why many people are urging countries to uphold the ‘Paris agreement,’ which was reached during COP21 in 2015. It is an agreement to limit global warming by limiting greenhouse gas emissions.

Climate change is causing more frequent and intense droughts, storms, heat waves, rising sea levels, melting glaciers, and warming oceans, which can directly harm animals, destroy habitats, and disrupt people’s livelihoods and communities.

Dangerous weather events are becoming more frequent or severe as climate change worsens.

This is to demonstrate that if no action is taken, our planet will slowly die, and we must remember that there is no planet B.

Africa is the victim and so are you

Even though Africa is not the primary cause of climate change, it takes on the majority of its consequences.

According to Africa Center’s research, climate change has reduced agricultural production on the continent by 34% since the 1960s, more than in any other region. Because this sector employs 45% of Africa’s youth, it directly affects them.

Climate change is also responsible for many other issues, including water scarcity, food insecurity, public health crises, biodiversity loss, loss of livelihoods, and damage of all kinds caused by factors such as starvation, drought, floods, and worsening natural disasters.

Loss and damage are just a few of the issues that Africa is dealing with.

According to the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), we are already in the era of losses and damages. Extreme weather events around the world shattered records, displaced millions, and killed thousands in 2021 alone.

Many communities have been left to deal with loss and damage.

Despite these facts, little is being done to address the risks of loss and damage faced by the most vulnerable countries and communities, which are already being hit with increasing frequency and intensity by climate shocks.

We are in this together

The contributors to the current climate disaster must be held accountable by young people. We are the ones who must say, “Hey, this has to stop,” because we will be left with the burden of dealing with problems that we did not cause.

We must hold world leaders accountable when it comes to fulfilling and honoring their climate commitments.

Not only must we build solidarity and find innovative solutions to prevent further damage, but we must also find solutions to the continent’s and the planet’s current problems.

It is up to you, me, and us to act and save the planet.

Young people must take action and hold the responsible institutions accountable

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