Featuring conversations between youth climate leaders and eminent climate experts from around the world, ActNowFilm calls for the integration of young people into national climate negotiating teams and global climate decision-making processes.
ActNowFilm: youth climate leaders in conversation with climate experts launched at COP28 with an address by former Irish President Mary Robinson, Chair of The Elders, who urged world leaders to include young people in the climate negotiations that will determine their future.
ActNowFilm brings together youth climate leaders and prominent climate experts from 33 countries across six continents. Through 1-2-1 conversations, they explore their personal experiences of the devastating impacts of climate change, their perspectives on the COP process, the critical role of young people, and ways to empower them to be at the frontline of global climate action and key decision-making processes.
Efforts must be redoubled to ensure that young people can meaningfully shape their own future, said Mary Robinson in her opening address:
“We must avoid the arbitrary or tokenistic inclusion of young people in climate forums and processes. People in powerful positions must be prepared to step aside to make space for children and youth. Why? Not because the children are our future. Not because young people are the leaders of tomorrow. But because our children and young people are also the leaders of today!”
Mary Robinson features in the film alongside other influential global climate experts, such as Christiana Figueres (former Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC), 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).
Youth climate leaders who have 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. Three young people featured in the film are also part of the International Youth Climate Delegate Program - an initiative by the COP28 UAE Presidency embedding 100 youth delegates from around the world in this year's negotiations.
In the film, one of the COP28 Youth Climate Delegates, Moliehi Mafantiri from Lesotho, expressed confidence in the younger generation's ability to drive change at a faster pace:
“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.”
Speaking at the COP28 Green Zone premiere, Amy Thompson, Head of Policy Programmes and Communications and Co-Director of ActNowFilm, said:
“The message coming out of the film is loud and clear: 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. As the film shows, young people already provide critical leadership on the climate crisis – but the avenues through which they can influence top-level decision-making on this issue are often limited. Now is the time to change this, by creating official routes for young people to be an integral part of global climate negotiations and national climate policy design."
ActNowFilm: youth climate leaders in conversation with climate experts is a project led by the University of Bath Institute for Policy Research (IPR) and Cambridge Zero, the University of Cambridge's climate change initiative. The film was supported by the UK Universities Climate Network (UUCN), in partnership with One Young World, and produced by Octopus Films.
ActNowFilm showcased on 8 December in the COP28 Green Zone, as part of Youth, Children, Education and Skills Day, and on 9 December in the COP28 Blue Zone. Both screenings were followed by panel discussions, featuring participants in the film and members of the ActNowFilm project team.