ActNowFilm features young people in conversation with influential global climate experts, such as former Ireland President Mary Robinson and Christiana Figueres, architect of the 2015 Paris Agreement and Chair of Prince William’s Earthshot Prize.
Youth leaders and climate experts in ActNowFilm talk about their personal experiences of the devastating effects of climate change and express their frustration over the slow pace of current global action to reduce emissions and protect the future of all life on Earth.
Moliehi Mafantiri from Lesotho, one of 100 participants on the International Youth Climate Delegate Program, running for the first time at COP28 said: “I find hope in the actions of youth that we are brave enough to take governments to task. We simply need to work together, learn from each other from across regions. There is far more that unites us than that which divides us.”
Mary Robinson, who is current Chair of The Elders, a group founded by Nelson Mandela to use their experience and influence to work for peace, justice, human rights and a sustainable planet, said:
“The voices of young people are not just whispers of tomorrow but are rallying cries for today. At COP28 and beyond, leaders must do all they can to integrate the valuable perspectives of young people and harness their unwavering energy, for they are not merely the ones inheriting our planet, they are already at the frontlines of sustainability and resilience.”
The 30-minute ActNowFilm, produced by the University of Bath Institute for Policy Research (IPR) and Cambridge Zero (the University of Cambridge’s climate initiative), with support from the UK Universities Climate Network (UUCN) and in partnership with One Young World pairs youth climate leaders and climate experts from 33 countries from across six continents.
The climate experts are leaders of indigenous communities, businesses, policy, activism, the third sector, international organisations and academia who have candid discussions with youth leaders about the role of young people in addressing the climate crisis.
The interactions between the youth climate leaders and climate experts demonstrate the role young people can play, say the filmmakers. But this must be combined with the appropriate education, skills and training needed to effectively contribute to official national climate negotiating teams in formal global climate decision-making processes.
The UAE will host COP28 from 30 November to 12 December, where governments from almost 200 countries across the world will negotiate the actions needed to address the climate crisis. ActNowFilm will premiere in the Green Zone, Terra Auditorium, on Friday 8 December as part of COP28’s Youth, Children, Education and Skills Day.
Prominent climate experts also included in the film are Dr Fatih Birol (Executive Director of the International Energy Agency), Prof Katharine Hayhoe (Chief Scientist, The Nature Conservancy), Prof Johan Rockström (Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research), Sir Alok Sharma MP (President of COP26), Sir David King (former Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK government), and Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim (President, Association for Indigenous Women and Peoples of Chad).
Amy Thompson, Head of Policy Programmes and Communications, led the project from the University of Bath’s IPR. She said: “The ActNowFilm shows how young people from right around the world are capable, ready, and committed to be part of the urgent national and global climate debates and negotiations. It is a call for action that now really is the time for change, by officially involving young people in future climate negotiations and national climate policy design.”
Dr Amy Munro-Faure, Head of Education and Student Engagement, who led the project for the University of Cambridge’s climate change initiative Cambridge Zero said: “The young people in ActNowFilm understand what action is needed, have witnessed first-hand the destructive effects of climate change and are determined to influence the agreements that will define their future on this Earth. They only need education and training in how to contribute their unique skills and perspectives in the formal environment.”
Youth climate leaders who contributed to ActNowFilm include Inés Yábar, who successfully campaigned for Peru to ban single-use plastic bags and Raina Ivanova, a climate justice activist from Germany who was part of the ‘Children vs. Climate Crisis’ petition, alongside Greta Thunberg.
ActNowFilm also features three participants from the COP28 International Youth Delegate Program, as well as youth founders of start-ups and charity foundations, Forbes 30 under 30 winners, and UN youth ambassadors and delegates.