I’ve personally experienced this kind of dismissive thinking. I was invited to travel to Davos from Uganda in late 2019 to campaign on the climate crisis. I saw firsthand why it is so difficult for activists like me.
They did not just grow me, they also cultivated an entire continent.
This story illustrates one of the greatest problems with the way we talk about the climate crisis. We ignore the people most affected by the climate crisis globally. So many people in the Global South, a term used to describe the more southerly, poorer countries that are often most affected, have lost all hope.
A new generation of climate activists from the global south is demanding that action be taken to alleviate our suffering and not just the suffering of those in the wealthiest countries. We have continued to mobilize online and on the streets throughout the pandemic to demand that leaders from the global north accept full responsibility for their historical emissions.
My passion for climate activism started when I was inspired by my father’s work with the local community. I then set out to research the most important issues that affected people in my country. I started by trying reach people in my country to convey my message that urgent action was needed. I protested in the streets, first outside of the Parliament, then on busy streets. No one paid much attention.
But the voices of my generation are crucial. We must listen to our youth and take action to ensure our futures. We need to pay attention to Ridhima Raslen and Ridhima as well as other young voices who are at the forefront of the crisis.
As COP26 continues, and after it ends we must also consider the suffering and needs of the global south and help the young people who want a better future. This means that we must provide adequate finance for lower-income countries to help them transition to clean energy as well as adapt to the extreme weather conditions they are already experiencing.