A message from climate activist Youna Marette.
What Does the Future I Want Look Like? Had you asked me that same question just a few years ago, I would have answered very differently. The climate emergency is an enormous challenge, and it is easy to feel discouraged. We need to be realistic and self-aware about how difficult it is to achieve systemic and societal change. But, I have also learned – through my travels and encounters with people around the world – we are already on the way to creating the future we want.
All over the world, people are finding the courage and strength to create alternatives to our destructive systems. They have chosen the values of respect and preservation, not only for our planet, but for all of us who live here. In Copenhagen at the C40 World Mayors Summit, I had the opportunity to meet many of these people working for a better tomorrow. They are young people, entrepreneurs and mayors who have decided it is time to act bravely and boldly to curb the climate emergency.
These past few days at the C40 World Mayors Summit have made me realize that change is possible if we want to make it happen. Copenhagen is a good example of this. This city is built around the values of solidarity, openness to others, and respect for the environment.
My ideal city looks very much like this: a city with clean air to breathe, a city where you can go anywhere without having to use polluting cars, a city where it is easier for people to lead happy and fulfilling lives. After the C40 World Mayors Summit, it’s clear to me that metropolises can be leaders for change. By 2030, I hope that the climate movement will have touched and transformed every community, in every city.
Mayors from all over the world, accompanied by young leaders, are already working together to reinvent our future. As proof, they came together to support a "Global Green New Deal", with the goal to create more inclusive cities, tackling climate change, poverty and inequality at the same time. More and more citizens, mayors, world leaders, entrepreneurs, scientists, lawyers and young people are discussing ambitious solutions to the climate emergency because they know that, together, we can build the world of tomorrow.
Will you join us?
Belgian climate activist
19 October 2019