Africa: Our Burning Planet - Follow the Lead of Young People

opinion

While politicians talk and make adjustments, young people from all over the world are demanding action on the climate crisis now before it's too late.

According to an Afrobarometer survey, 59% of South Africans do not know what climate change is and only 17% are climate change literate. No matter where you stand on the climate change debate, the truth is many people are already experiencing the effects of rising temperatures. Several municipalities in the Eastern Cape have been without water for months. When the city of Cape Town was facing Day Zero it was the citizens' behavioural change that helped to turn things around. The question, then, is: how can we as government at all levels influence behavioural change on a wider scale?

If you follow global trends, the tell-tale signs indicate it is the young people that are taking charge of climate change action. Just last month there was a global strike from 20-27 September inspired by 16-year-old Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg.

In Cape Town, I was part of a large group of people who marched to Parliament on 20 September, even though there was no one to meet us at the gate to receive our memorandum. Contained...

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