Advice from activists: How COVID-19 is changing climate activism for young women

Climate change represents one of the defining issues of this generation. From catastrophic storms and severe droughts to increasing global temperatures and rising sea-levels, the way our planet is changing is not for the better.

It’s on all of us to do our part to stop the harm to our environment, and some of the best and brightest who are leading climate action are young women and girls.

As one-third of the global population is under stay-at-home orders to limit the spread of COVID-19, climate activists are finding new ways to bring attention to their cause and new ways to take action.

This year on Earth Day, 22 April, we asked young women and girls on the front lines of climate activism how all of us can be a part of the movement, from the safety of our own homes, and what we can we learn from how the pandemic is affecting our planet.

Strengthen online communities

Luisa Neubauer. Photo courtesy of Luisa Neubauer

Luisa Neubauer, 23, is a climate activist from Berlin, Germany, who works with the global Fridays for Future movement that has inspired climate protests and action around the world. Find Luisa on Twitter at @luisamneubauer.

Learn new habits

Licypriya Devi Kangujam. Photo courtesy of Licypriya Devi Kangujam.

Licypriya Devi Kangujam, from New Delhi, India, is one of the world’s youngest climate activists at just 8 years old. She is the founder of The Child Movement and speaks up for climate action and legislation to protect the environment in India and around the world. Follow @LicypriyaK on Twitter for more from Licypriya.

Consume responsibly

Alexandria Villasenor poses with her “School Strike 4 Climate” sign in New York City. Photo courtesy of Alexandria Villasenor.

Alexandria Villaseñor, 14, is a climate activist living in New York who has participated in weekly school strikes for climate action since December 2018. Alexandria was a national and international Fridays for Future organizer for the first ever global youth climate strike in March 2019, and recently launched her own non-profit, Earth Uprising International, where she is working to bring accurate climate change education into schools and helping youth mobilize for direct action. For more from Alexandria follow @AlexandriaV2005 on Twitter.

Embrace the future of activism

Marina Melanidis during a virtual climate demonstration. Photo courtesy of Marina Melanidis

Marina Melanidis, 24, is a climate actor and youth mobilizer from Canada. She is the Founder and Partnerships Director of Youth4Nature, a youth-led international organization that is mobilizing young people to advocate for and lead on nature-based solutions for climate change. See more from Marina on Twitter at @marinamelanidis and @Y4Nature

Recognize the links between COVID-19 and the climate crisis

Leah Namugerwa shows her Fridays for Future sign. Photo courtesy of Leah Namugerwa.

Leah Namugerwa is a 15-year-old climate activist and Team Leader at Fridays for Future Uganda. Find Leah on Twitter at @NamugerwaLeah.

Learn from digital resources

While you’re at home, you can take advantage of all the available online resources, like courses, social media accounts and books and movies. We asked these activists for some recommendations on where to start learning more about climate change. Here are just a few of their suggestions, plus some from us too.

UN Women is the United Nations entity for #genderequality and women's empowerment.

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