UN India’s ‘We The Change’ campaign showcase climate solutions pioneered by young Indians

The United Nations (UN) in India has launched a new climate campaign called We The Change.

It is a climate movement that brings together young climate change activists to begin a dialogue with decision-makers. From around the country and different social strata, these leaders will amplify solutions, inspire collective action and work with the government to ensure that India’s future is green, sustainable and just.

The purpose of these reports is to provide everyone, particularly governing bodies, with the information they need to make important decisions regarding climate change.

The purpose of these reports is to provide everyone, particularly governing bodies, with the information they need to make important decisions regarding climate change.

These solutions have been developed by 17 young Indians who will involve other Indian youth to participate in this campaign as well. They are supposed to be “innovative, sustainable and equitable” with the focus being on strengthening engagement with governments and society.

“We need enabling spaces for co-learning and collaboration for effective climate action,” says Archana Soreng, young climate campaigner and member of the UN Secretary-General’s Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change.

The group of 17 will develop solutions for various sectors ranging from renewables, forest management, sustainable agriculture, disaster risk reduction, ecosystem restoration, to financing, climate entrepreneurship, water conservation and waste management.

They will also work towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and Sustainable Development Goals 13 (SDG 13) – Climate Action.

The call to action is #WeTheChangeNow.

Under the Paris Agreement, India has three quantifiable Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) that it needs to reach by 2030: lowering emissions intensity of its GDP by 33-35 percent compared to 2005 levels, increase total cumulative electricity generation from fossil free energy sources to 40 percent and create additional carbon sink of 2.5 to three billion tons through additional forest and tree cover.

India is on track to meet its Paris Climate Agreement commitments and probably outperform its NDCs in critical sectors as well. The UN believes that the contributions of the youth will further “breakthrough innovations to protect India and the world, especially the most vulnerable, from the impact of climate change.”

During the G20 meet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “Today, India is the only country in the group of G20 countries, which is moving fast towards achieving its climate goals. India has set a target of 450 GW of renewable energy by the end of this decade – 450 GW by 2030. Of this, the target of 100 GW has been achieved by India ahead of schedule.”

“We can still make a difference, restore our planet and make peace with nature. These 17 young climate leaders, the faces of the We The Change movement, are showing us the way ahead towards climate justice and climate action,” said actor-producer Dia Mirza who is also the UN Secretary-General’s Advocate for SDG.

“I believe that if there’s public awareness first, then we can improve the environment. It will happen if people are aware of climate-friendly behaviours and actions. This is why I want to work in the space of public awareness and mobilization,” said Hina Saifi

The 17 Indian youth climate leaders to take part in UN's new campaign. Image credit: UN

The 17 Indian youth climate leaders to take part in UN’s new campaign. Image credit: UN

The 17 youth climate leaders are:

GARVITA GULHATI- INNOVATION & TECHNOLOGY (SDG 13 goals- clean water and sanitation)

HINA SAIFI – CLEAN AIR & RENEWABLE ENERGY ( SDG 13 goals – affordable and clean energy)

AKHILESH ANILKUMAR – ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION (SDG 13 goals – Life below water)

BERJIS DRIVER – SUSTAINABLE URBAN PLANNING (SDG 13 goals – Sustainable cities and communities)

SNEHA SHAHI – WASTE MANAGEMENT (SDG 13 goals – climate action)

SANJU SOMAN – WATER CONSERVATION (SDG 13 goals – Life below water)

HEETA LAKHANI – ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION SDG 13 goals – Quality education)

KRITI TULA – SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLES (SDG 13 goals – responsible consumption and production)

ARCHANA SORENG – GRASSROOTS CLIMATE STORYTELLING (SDG 13 goals – Reduced inequalities)

SOUMYA RANJAN BISWAL – MARINE CONSERVATION (SDG 13 goals – Life below water)

NEHA SHIVAJI NAIKWADE – LIVELIHOODS AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP (SDG 13 goals – Industry, innovation and infrastructure)

SIDDHARTHA SHARMA – FINANCING AND DRR (SDG 13 goals – Sustainable cities and communities)

MEDHA PRIYA – GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE (SDG 13 goals – Sustainable cities and communities)

SARATH K. R. – SUSTAINABILITY THROUGH ANCESTRAL PRACTICES ( SDG 13 goals – Life on land)

VARSHA RAIKWAR – GRASSROOTS CLIMATE STORYTELLING (SDG 13 goals – climate action)

GANESH KUMAR SUBRAMANIAN – WASTE MANAGEMENT (SDG 13 goals – Responsible consumptions and production)

ADITYA MUKARJI – WASTE MANAGEMENT (SDG 13 goals – Responsible consumptions and production)