Young minds gather at 9th International Youth Summit on Climate Change
By Wang Xueying

2017-07-12 08:36 GMT+8

110km to Beijing

By CGTN's Cui Hui’ao 

Several young active minds from around the world gathered in Tianjin for the 9th International Youth Summit on Climate Change from July 9-12, and their strong devotion to combat climate change is inspiring their Chinese peers.

Take Sarah Voska as an example. Originally from Chicago, the United States, she took on environment activism at age 15. 

“I remember I was disgusted by how bad the smell from a lake near my house had become," she said."My father told me that everyone can take action. So I became the youngest representative at the town council, working with local experts and authorities to restore the lake’s ecosystem." 

Young activists like Sarah and Pradeep are showing how they take action to combat climate change and make the earth a better place. /CGTN Photo

Action, in Voska’s opinion, is what makes a difference. 

“So if President Trump wants to withdraw US from the Paris Agreement, then we need to be empowering ourselves to act our own, so we are going to work with municipal and state governments," said Voska. "Cities across the US like my city of Chicago have committed to the agreement, so actions like that are how we can continue to move forward with environmental actions, even with obstacles in federal government.” 

Like Voska, Pradeep Bhattarai from Nepal is also a climate change activist. 

He has been working since 2011 with a non-government organization to advocate the concept of environment integrity. He says it’s important because Nepal is one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change. 

“More than 60 percent of people’s employment depends on agriculture, but agriculture is badly hit by the impact of climate change," said Bhattarai. "People are facing drought, flooding is the reason agricultural land gets destroyed, and many people are affected by irregular rainfall.” 

Many young people gather in Tianjin for the 9th International Youth Summit on Climate Change. /CGTN Photo

Bhattarai’s organization engages with the Nepalese government to find solutions to support local farmers in increasing productivity. It includes methods such as providing drought- and flood-tolerant seeds to farmers and installing early-warning systems.