Adults: Ignoring climate change is not the action we need
In Mongolia, climate change isn’t a well-talked-about issue. The most people know is that the earth is warming, and I quote, “We might die soon, but it might be false news because if it was serious then we would’ve heard something, just like COVID-19!” This is what my peers and even some adults said to me when I asked them about climate change.
However, young leaders are trying their best to raise awareness and take steps to help in response to the climate crisis, and how it affects us, our family, and friends. But we still need more information for us to decide whether we need to think and come up with new ideas, or to keep suggesting the ones we’ve already found.
There are things we can all do ourselves, like living eco and planting trees, but capping down emissions requires political movements and for politicians to take actions. Recently the President of Mongolia encouraged the citizens to plant trees, which got a mixed response from people. In my opinion even though what he did was too small to tackle the whole issue, he did try to do something, so I want to give him credit, but I also want him to make much bigger and braver decisions.
Whenever I talk and tell people we need more information and more actions, the usual answer is that I shouldn’t put my nose in adults’ business and should start acting like a kid. This response amazes me the most. Honestly, I would love to act my age and spend the days only worrying about what college I should apply to or whether I did my homework or not, but considering how you are not doing your job as an adult right, we children are involved in this mess. Even though we’re the ones who contributed the least to climate change, we are the ones who are going to receive the mess.
We need to start cleaning up the mess you made immediately! And for this to happen, first you need to act on the Paris agreement. It was made in 2015 and it’s already been seven years since then! Countries are said to be "significantly off-schedule" to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement and at COP 26 no real change-making decisions were made. Experts are saying that what you have pledged won’t be able to decrease global warming to 1.5 and that it may increase to 2.4 degrees.
It is just an embarrassment. You pledged to do something, you set a goal, you told us to believe in you and the outcome of our trust is this.
This is the line from a blog I wrote last April. “We need to drink water, eat food, and breathe air to live. However, all of this is at stake due to climate change, and children especially are suffering. In 2019, I was honoured to speak at the UN, talking to world leaders about the importance of addressing climate change and listening to children. However, it’s frustrating that two years later, not much has changed.”
It’s been almost another year and one COP since then. I’ve been talking, writing, listening, and doing the best I can to warn people and encourage them to act about climate change for most of my life. I have only been doing that internationally for the past two years - mind you, I’m only 16.
But my age doesn’t mean I only talk about issues and do nothing about them. I attend as many events and dialogues as possible to raise my voice and be the bridge between adults and children, request help, and suggest ideas to improve. At my school, and any other school that’s interested, I’ve been working to educate students on the topic of climate change and try to convince them to adopt more sustainable practices like recycling and making more eco choices
Recently someone told me, “The greater the responsibility, the more reluctant they are.” I know some decisions are politically dangerous so you politicians may be hesitant about taking action. Fear seems to be the only reasonable answer for how slow things are progressing in the quest to save the planet. But you need to understand that if we don’t start taking action right now, we may lose the opportunity.
Please let’s not repeat this same cycle at COP27. I believe that adults are much smarter and more strategic than this.
You need to reconsider your ‘bold’ decision of…ignoring.
I’m looking forward to your active projects and actions this year. Happy Lunar New Year ( Tsagaan Sar ) from Mongolia.
Nomundari is a 16-year-old Youth Advocate from Mongolia. Not only is she an active member of World Vision’s children’s club, she is also part of the international “Child Advisory Council” at Child Rights Connect, the advising children's body to the UN CRC Committee. Nomundari’s passion for climate change has led her to speak at the UN, and she has moderated the Let Our Voice Be Heard dialogue between children and the Mongolian Government on the impact of COVID-19 on Asia’s most vulnerable girls and boys.