Meet the new generation of young climate activists

The cilmate debate is getting heated. But who's fanning the flames? We profile four campaigners who just might help us save the world.

Hair & Beauty

As Cop26 in Glasgow shines a spotlight on the perilous state of Earth’s climate emergency, we are all more in tune with how important our environment is – and how we must change our lives accordingly if we are to preserve it for generations to come. The figureheads of the greener movement are well known the world over, with Greta Thunberg at the vanguard. Yet there are other names, also part of the same generation, who are as passionate and active. This new crop features figureheads who are young and black – tireless campaigners who are fighting for the future of our planet. Let’s meet them…

Vanessa Nakate

Ugandan climate activist Vanessa Nakate is one of the most prominent young faces of climate activism. She’s was famously cropped out of a photo by a media organisation while next to other young climate activists including Greta (and all of whom were white) - but that didn’t phase her. She has grown in influence, and taken her persuasive views on the dangers of our warming planet, and in particular the impact on Africa, to world leaders and to global conferences such as Cop26. She also founded Rise Up, an organisation raising awareness of climate change in her continent.

Anita Okunde

Anita Okunde

British climate activist Anita Okunde is well known for working with grassroots organisations to raise awareness of environmental change and encourage action through the UK Student Climate Network. Named by The Independent as one of four young British women leading the climate fight, Anita is also part of Fridays 4 Future, a global, youth-led movement fighting climate injustice.  

Dominique Palmer

Also part of the Fridays 4 Future movement, Dominique Palmer believes in climate justice that is intersectional with social issues. Attending Cop26, she retweeted: “the only leaders I’m seeing at Cop26 are the young people”. And she could be right. Her peers, having grown up in the midst of our climate emergency, are leading the way. Her public speaking and work on the picket lines has inspired others to get involved and wake up to the destruction of the world through human influence.

Elizabeth Wanjiru Wathuti

Founder of the Green Generation Initiative, Elizabeth Wanjiru Wathuti from Kenya is passionate about how climate change is affecting the world – especially in her home nation. Her GGI nurtures young environmental enthusiasts by greening schools and providing environmental education. “We have planted over 30,000 trees since we started this campaign in 2016, and we’re so glad that 99% of the trees we’ve planted in schools have survived. We’ve worked with 20,000 school children all over Kenya, and have a team of 40 young volunteers who are passionate and committed to our work,” she said.

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