November 3, 2023

We are going to save the world

Young people around the world want solutions to climate change that center mitigation, adaptation, and a just transition. That’s why earlier this month my friend and colleague Nick Haas and I attended the Local Conference of Youth (LCOY) USA at American University, an annual conference that brings young people ages 35 and younger together for open dialogues about climate change. It’s a space where youth climate advocates can network, engage in thematic sessions and coordinate their proposals in the leadup to COP. 

Young advocates from across the country worked to put together a National Youth Statement that would outline what young people are looking for when it comes to climate action at the global stage. 

Getting inspired while getting to work

For me, it was an extremely powerful experience to be in a room with passionate young leaders from around the country all working toward a common goal. While perhaps we don’t agree on all the little details, we all know that our future is on the line – and it’s up to us to protect it. It was one of the most collaborative spaces I’ve had the privilege to be a part of and reminded me of how powerful we can be when we work together. 

A generation of changemakers

As young people, we’re often underestimated, told we don’t have enough experience to have a seat at the table. That is simply not true. We have unique strengths that position us as an integral part of the fight to solve the climate crisis, including our: 

  • ability to imagine a better future, to see beyond doom and gloom and understand that another world is possible; 
  • numbers and collective power; 
  • commitment to standing in solidarity with social justice movements; 
  • diversity of tactics and ability to approach problems from a multitude of angles; and 
  • understanding of policy and the idea that everyone deserves a seat at the decision-making table. 

Onward to COP28

Defend Our Future is committed to helping YOU find the best ways to raise your voice and be part of these critical conversations. The work doesn’t stop here. Later this month, Nick will be headed to Dubai for the annual Conference of Parties, the UN’s global climate conference, where he will be part of the presentation of the Global Youth Statement.  

Don’t miss a moment of the action – make sure you’re following along on Instagram @DefendOurFuture to follow along! 


For a brighter future,

Kyli Wagner