We didn’t cause the climate crisis but give the younger generation the power to fix it

14th Jul 2022
Influencing policies
Climate change

Abdul-Moiz Siddiqi

MHF’s Leaders Unlocked and Speaker at MHF’s COP26 Community Participation Event

Attending the Mental Health Foundation COP26 event was an incredible experience. From listening to all the keynote speakers to the amazing discussions in the breakout rooms.

It’s obvious that everyone who was there acknowledged the issues that we face.

The climate crisis also comes with 'climate anxiety'. Specifically with young people. The power and control it can have in people’s daily lives isn't spoken about. I am a part of a generation that's growing up with the climate change alarms continuously going off. It becomes difficult to do anything when it feels like the environmental sirens won’t stop.

The world is facing issues that history has never faced before. It’s time that the world takes an approach that it's never had to take before.

Young people are full of innovation, new perspectives and ideas. We don't have the platform. We don't have a vote of confidence. It’s time for change and it’s time to give us a turn at tackling the issues that were left behind for us.

The conference saw so many individuals who are excited about putting young people in the lead, and that's what we need more of. We need more professionals, we need more support and we need more belief in our young people.

We are growing up with problems we didn't create, yet it's inspired a revolutionary thought process amongst young people. The experience of growing up with the constant talks of sustainability and being green has invoked the power of inspiration and innovation. It is my generation that can and will solve this, but we cannot do it without the support of other generations.

My peers and I are reaching the point where we have to choose between the environment and our dreams. No person, ever, should have to put their dreams on hold because of mistakes that aren’t theirs.

Students are taking the sustainability and carbon footprint of universities as factors of where they choose to go. People are having to evaluate the carbon footprint of their dream careers. This is what climate anxiety can look like. It’s not just long-term decisions but the daily decisions, of where a person decides to shop, where they decide to travel, what they decide to wear.

If you are raising a generation that has to live a lifestyle because of your choices, it is only fair to let that same generation have a voice and have a seat at that decision-making table.

COP26 public participation event report

Read our report for the COP26 event where Abdul-Moiz Siddiqi was one of many guest speakers from around the world.
Learn more about the COP26 event
A graphic with the text 'transition to net zero'