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Youth and Climate Advocacy: Head to COP27

My name is Sofia Abril, I am 19 years old and the founder of the environmental movement “The Last Chance,” a group mostly comprised of young people. We are committed to environmental education and the development of environmental projects that aim to improve environmental development in Guatemala and fight climate change. As a result of our activities, U-Report and UNICEF opened the doors for us in 2019 to join as members of the U-Report committee and to work together as climate advocates. 


In 2022, U-Report Guatemala, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program in Guatemala, launched a survey to understand the perspectives of young people on the actions that are being implemented and the efforts that should be made towards a healthier planet. 


To promote the poll, several youth climate activists united forces to encourage young people to speak up and share their opinions and ideas on climate action. Overall, 520 U-Reporters participated in the poll, and here are some highlights of what they said: 


1. Reduce, reuse, and recycle waste (16%), reduce plastic consumption (13%), and educate the population about the importance of the relationship between human beings and mother nature (9%), are the actions that young people say they would do to drive change to a healthy planet. 


2. The lack of information (21%) and political will (21%) are two of the biggest challenges youth face in implementing the 2030 Agenda and other environmental commitments. 


3. A third of the U-Reporters said that education in Innovative Environmental Technologies is one of the skills/competencies needed in the business, government, and academic sectors to access green jobs.