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How Cara is Leading on Climate Action

Driven to support the fight for the environment, Cara has been joining climate projects and speaking with policy makers to help the planet.

Sometimes, growing up as a young person in the world we live in today can be terrifying. There is no plan(et) B, but so often we feel alone in believing this. Media outlets scaremonger communities with jaw-dropping headlines but nothing is ever done. This is in the hands of my generation.

Young people face many difficulties in our modern world. In the last two years, society has changed to a dystopian style, which no one could have anticipated. Within this time, I believe young people have been forgotten. Yet, young people still need to strive for equality, fight for climate change, and speak up for everything we have done previously, but now we have to do this with uncertainties surrounding our everyday life. Your teenage years are supposed to be “the time of your life” yet everything young people look forward to is being tainted by the pressure of feeling the fight is left to us.

How I am taking action

Growing up, I have always seen myself as compassionate towards social and environmental issues, but it wasn’t until I turned 16 and joined the National Citizen Service that I had my social action awakening. Since then I have been involved in numerous projects, where I have been able to raise the voices of young people into democratic spotlights. During the pandemic, unable to volunteer abroad as planned, I applied and became a youth delegate at the World Forum for Democracy. Ran by the Council of Europe, the World Forum for Democracy, each year tackles a different theme in response to world events, bringing together political decision-makers and activists, to question solutions to key challenges worldwide. This year, the forum theme is climate change, and ‘Can Democracy Save the Environment?’ … and can it?

Along with 26 other young people from across the world, we believe it can. Forming the youth delegation for the forum, we have brought together a varying amount of experience in the field to lead the fight of young people against this. Climate change is one of the most important threats society faces, yet according to Cardiff University and Climate Outreach, as of 2019 there are still 20% of the UK population who are not worried about it. If we are to stop climate change and minimise the amount of damage to the Earth, then everyone must play a part.

In June, I also had the privilege of being involved in a high-level dialogue with key policymakers, including the Secretary General of the Council of Europe. Here, I could use my voice to elevate the ideas of young people, where I focussed my question to the panel on what could be done to ensure that climate change education for young people was of the same quality and quantity.

Joining Raleigh International in 2022

Next year I will continue to journey to tackle climate change by embarking on a Raleigh International Expedition to Nepal, where I will have the opportunity to work on projects empowering young people, who face inequalities much worse than my own. Raleigh’s work has always fit with my own morals in its mission to empower young people in social and environmental issues, with its focus now heavily including climate change. Volunteering on an international expedition with Raleigh, has always been something I dreamed of doing, following in the footsteps of my Dad, who is an ex-venturer from Cameroon, 1989.

Climate change can seem overwhelming to many people, but shying away from the issue will only make things worse. It is up to everybody to help in the fight to save the planet, no matter how big or small your impact is.

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