In a world where climate change may destroy our very existence, where unemployment and unequal resource distribution have left broken economies, where vested geopolitical interests have resulted in a wider gap between the rich and the poor and where all odds are against international cooperation, what gives us hope for a better future?

Our world is full of social, political and economic challenges, and the global community requires diverse perspectives - especially from the youth - to resolve urgent matters. After all, the world is going to be ours soon. We, the youth need to work together with our elders to collectively stop the degeneration of our earth. We must set aside our differences and come together to eliminate the root cause of geopolitical divide and stop the genocide of the human race in the name of religion, ethnicity and politics. Today, conflicts such as the Yemen conflict and the Kashmir issue around the globe are standing in our way to make the right decisions at a global level. Glaciers are melting, wildlife extinction rates are increasing, rivers are drying up, water table levels are going down, and temperatures are rising - due to the inaction of our leaders who are unfortunately driven by selfish interests.

Recently, climate strikes led by 16-year old Greta Thunberg have rekindled awareness of climate change, as well as demanded the rejection of all new fossil fuel extraction or transportation projects. To take this to the next level, it is my recommendation for the youth to adopt an environmentally friendly lifestyle to protect our environment. Change in our buying habits and day to day life style towards eco-friendly products will compel global business conglomerates to upgrade their manufacturing facilities, such that they curtail release of toxic fumes such as chlorofluorocarbons. A feasible timeline should be communicated through a global campaign run by the youth to amend existing manufacturing facilities; products of any multinational entity that do not comply would, after the proposed timeline, be boycotted by the youth.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel for the last 25 years has taken active measures to prevent the earth’s degradation: she introduced the German energy transition that was to transform the nation powered by fossil fuels and nuclear power to a nation dependent on wind, solar and geothermal power. Greenhouse gas emissions in Germany were down 27 percent in 2015, compared to 1990 levels. She is a living example of walk-the-talk leadership; hence my second recommendation is for the youth to run a campaign and create awareness about the long-term benefits of her efforts and demand similar leadership in top industrial nations of the world. The Security Council should be requested to adopt a binding resolution, under chapter VII of the UN charter, obliging states to implement the provisions of the Paris Accords on climate change. Albeit there is a short window for the youth to come together and take concrete steps as stated above to save mother nature, but we can show “that we are united and that we, young people, are unstoppable”.- Greta Thunberg, September 2019.