Millennials and climate change

Saumya Soni

June 14, 2021

“Do millennials see climate change as more than just a meme?”

Millennials are often stereotyped by the inaccurate perceptions of earlier generations. We’ve all heard it before: we’re lazy, vain, entitled slacked and guilty of scrolling through social media while forwarding memes all day instead of giving heed to important matters. Moreover we’re all too weary of being responsible.

However, according to the 2020 Deloitte global millennial survey, younger generations said they are consciously increasing their use of public transportation, recycling more and being responsible consumers by shopping sustainably. The survey also revealed how about half of Millennials said they walk or bike more often to reduce their carbon footprints, have stopped or limited their “fast fashion” purchases and acquainted themselves on the environmental aspects of the brands they buy. And nearly two-thirds of Millennials have taken initiatives to diminish their use of single-use plastics.

With the exceedingly high probability that members of the Millennial and Gen-Z generations will witness the most grave and severe impacts of climate change within their lifetime, and given the uncertainty about what the next two decades will bring, it’s exactly why today’s younger generation are most worried about global warming and climate change.

What’s even more alarming is the fact that we are likely to face more of these challenges and catastrophies in the next coming years. A majority of scientists agree that an increasingly warming climate could raise the global mean sea level by as much as six feet if carbon dioxide emissions remain persistent and the world is on trajectory to 3 degree Celsius or more warming by the year 2100.

Some young Millennials and Gen Z’s that have revolutionized the climate change movement include Greta Thunberg; starting the initiative of “Fridays for the future”, the school-strike movement now counts close to huge numbers of 14 million strikers in 7,500 cities and 212 countries.

Greta Thunberg is not the only one fighting climate change. Dyson Chee from Honolulu, started his personal project at 16 to tackle the issue of plastic pollution in Hawaii. It’s largely owing to pester power from under-voting-age citizens that Bill 40 was passed in 2019 to phase out disposable plastics on the island of Oahu.

Another example of a young climate change activist is Mitzi Jonelle Tan From her hometown of Manila, who is amplifying the voices of indigenous groups in the Philippines. ‘Defending the environment is what they have done for generations,’ remarks the 23-year-old, who organizes meetings for Youth Advocates for Climate Action Philippines. The list of these young millennial change makers and their achievements in contributing to save the environment could go on and on.

Millennials play a significant role from actively questioning traditional institutions and power structures, to strong social media campaigns, rallies marches and other innovative platforms. We are not done fighting climate change yet, and It is these millennials who have come together to raise their voices and take measures to prevent the ever plummeting challenges of climate change.

To conclude, If you are willing to look past the misconceived and prejudiced labels affixed to the millennial ethos, you’ll see a generation of innovators coming together and pushing themselves to rectify never before seen challenges. And the truth is that whatever 70-year old politicians want to purport about the “Do’s” and “Don’ts” of climate change, they will not have to brawl and combat with its consequences the way younger generation will have to.