A climate activist from India has been appointed by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to his new advisory group consisting of young executives who will offer prospects and solutions to deal with the worsening climate crisis as the global body takes action as part of the COVID-19 recovery mobilizes efforts.
Archana Soreng joins six other young climate leaders from around the world who have been appointed by Mr. Guterres to his new youth advisory group on climate change.
Ms. Soreng is "experienced in advocacy and research and is working to document, preserve and promote traditional knowledge and cultural practices of indigenous communities," the UN said in a statement Monday.
"Our ancestors have protected the forest and nature over the centuries through their traditional knowledge and practices. Now it is up to us to be the frontrunners in the fight against the climate crisis," said Ms. Soreng, of the Tata Institute Regulatory Governance studied of Social Sciences (TISS) Mumbai and is the former president of the TISS Students Union.
The young activists between the ages of 18 and 28 will regularly advise the UN chief on accelerating global measures and ambitions to deal with the worsening climate crisis.
The announcement marks a new effort by the United Nations to involve more young leaders in decision-making and planning processes as the United Nations works to mobilize climate action as part of the COVID-19 recovery effort.
"We are in a climate emergency. We do not have the luxury of time," Guterres said in a video announcing the advisory group.
"We urgently need action now – to better recover from COVID-19, fight injustice and inequality, and fight climate change," he said.
Mr. Guterres said that young people are at the forefront of climate action and that nations and leaders show what courageous leadership looks like.
"That's why I'm starting my youth advisory group on climate change today – to provide perspectives, ideas and solutions that help us to step up climate protection measures," said the UN head.
The members of the Secretary General's youth advisory group on climate change represent the different voices of young people from all regions and small island states. They will offer perspectives and solutions for climate change, from science to community mobilization, from entrepreneurship to politics and from industry to nature conservation, according to the United Nations.
The first seven members of the group were selected to provide open and fearless advice to the Secretary General in a time of growing urgency to hold government and business leaders accountable for climate action.
The other selected members of the group are climate activist Nisreen Elsaim from Sudan, Ernest Gibson from Fiji, the co-coordinator for 350 Fiji, a regional network for youth-oriented climate change, and the young economist Vladislav Kaim from Moldova, who is committed to green and decent Jobs for the youth.
Sophia Kianni from the USA, who helped organize nationwide strikes and founder of international non-profit climate cardinals, founder and coordinator of Generation Climate Europe and spokeswoman for Youth and Environment Europe, Nathan Metenier from France and lawyer and human rights defender Paloma Costa from Brazil.
The foundation of the group builds on last year's successful youth climate summit – the first time that a general secretary has convened a summit for young people dedicated exclusively to climate protection.
The summit brought together over 1,000 young climate champions from more than 140 countries to share their solutions on the global stage and to send a clear message to the world's leading politicians: we must act now to deal with the climate crisis. The initiative is also in line with the Secretary-General's vision for the UN youth strategy, which started in September 2018.