While major political organisation, business tycoons and manufacturing industries continue to overlook their pollution foot-prints on the environment, these young female climate activists are taking responsibilities in their hand to bring a global revolution for climate action.
First, a 16-year-old Greta Thunberg from Sweden, then an 11-year-old Ridhima Pandey from Indian and now the world’s youngest climate activist, an 8-year-old Licypriya Kangujam, also from India stood up for making climate-friendly policies.
The young girl from Manipur, India believes that the government is not taking climate change seriously and hence, she is demanding the Indian government to discuss three new climate-friendly policies.
The young activist attended UN’s COP25 event, where she stood with world’s most renowned climate activist Greta Thunberg with a placard in her hand that read, “Dear Mr Modi, pass the climate change law in the ongoing Parliament session as soon as possible from the paper to become action. Your future generations will praise you. I will not stop until you do this.”
The COP25 event is the United Nation’s Framework Convention on Climate Change for the year 2019, which was held in Madrid, Spain on Monday, 2nd December.
The Three policies
Young Licypriya does not attend school and dedicates her time in climate action activities.
She has three main points to discuss with the Indian government. The first and the foremost is to ask the government to keep their promise of helping in reducing the global temperatures to 1.5°C by 2030, which they made at the Paris Climate Agreement. She wants the government to amend laws and incorporate climate law in India, to achieve zero carbon emissions and can control other greenhouse gases as well.
The second important thing she wants to discuss is that climate-related education should be made compulsory in schools curriculum so that students are aware of the current environmental problems and climatic conditions of our planet. She believes that young kids like her can play a major role in deterring anti-climate activities.
The third thing that they 8-year-old wants from the government is to make a particular quantity of tree plantation mandatory for students, to qualify as educated at different levels like high-school, graduate and postgraduate.
“There are three policies that I would like the government to introduce. If there is a climate law in India, we can achieve zero carbon emissions and can control other greenhouse gases. Second is the compulsory inclusion of climate change as a subject in the school curriculum. Thirdly, minimum 100 tree plantations should be made mandatory for high school students, 500 for undergraduates, and 1,000 for university students — to pass their final exam,” she said in an interview with Business Insider India.
Now is the right time
Licypriya started her efforts as an activist by attending Asia Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, in June 2018. At the conference, she spoke about how natural disasters and climate crisis are intertwined and forced the government to act upon it.
However, trying to bring the change has been costing the young girl her primal education. She has to drop a lot of her classes to attend seminars, participate in protests and stand outside the Indian parliament. But Licypriya is willing to risk her education life for the sake of bringing a change because she believes that this is the right time to take action.
Spanish Government, Not Indian Government Helped Her in Funding
She didn’t have funds to attend COP25
Licypriya did not have enough funds to attend the UN’s COP25 event. When she received an invitation from the UN to participate in COP25, she decided not to go because of lack of funding. Her supporters were able to contribute ₹50,000 & the flight tickets for her but she needed a total of Rs. 4 lakh for her stay in Spain including her travel, stays, meals, visas etc.
She even approached Indian government to help her with funding including four cabinet ministers and environment minister Prakash Javadekar. However, there was no response from them. Later, the Spanish Government and the European Climate Foundation came forward and funded her trip.
Although Licypriya is not currently pursuing her regular education, she aspired to become a space scientist and explore space. She also looks forward to driving a solar car for 18000 km (with an adult) from India to the UK where the event will be held next year.
She will also be narrating a speech on 10th December at the next COP25 event and will be urging governments to take climate action.