Climate change is creating a long-term shift in temperature and weather patterns, with human activities being the main driver, primarily due to the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas. It also influences the way we live and the impacts will become much greater over time, with the young people of today becoming the future victims. Everyone, including children, young people, and future generations, will live with the consequences of our current actions. 

The world is home to 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 to 24 — the largest generation of youth in history — and this group are becoming increasingly aware of the challenges and risks presented by the climate crisis, and the opportunity to achieve sustainable development as a solution to climate change. The unprecedented mobilisation of young people around the world shows the massive power they possess to hold decision-makers accountable. They are also valuable contributors to climate action. They are agents of change, entrepreneurs, and innovators. Whether through education, science, or technology, young people are scaling up their efforts and skills to accelerate climate action.  Their voices are very important to world leaders on this major global issue at COP26.

COP26 is the 2021 United Nations climate change conference to unite the world and tackle climate change. The UK hosts the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow from 31 October to 12 November 2021, bringing parties together to accelerate action and achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. This treaty represented a commitment to aim to limit the increase in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees and is important because every fraction of warming will result in the loss of many more lives and damage to livelihoods. 

British Council is committed to alleviating the effects of climate change, and we are working hard to amplify the voices of the younger generation, helping them to resonate with world leaders to become part of a better world in the future. Help us to echo the voices of the 8,000 rising campaign by stating what action you would like the world’s leaders to take to alleviate the impact of climate change at COP26.