India is the world’s third-largest crude consumer after the United States and China, and imports 85 percent of its needs – Copyright AFP Johan ORDONEZ
Greta Thunberg, the Swedish environmental activist, showed the pivotal way that young people can challenge world leaders to take immediate action for climate change mitigation, and to promote change. The United Nations Secretary General has acknowledged that youth activists are “at the forefront of efforts to secure a more inclusive, peaceful, and prosperous future for all.”
Just like Thunberg did from Sweden, ‘climate crusader’ Ridhima Pandey is paving the way towards a sustainable future in India. She says she has “learned a lot about the negligence of climate change in India.”
In a new interview with Ved Sanyal from Net Zero, 15 year-old Ridhima Pandey discusses her journey as an environmental activist and her pioneering work in litigation for inaction on climate change.
Pandey made global headlines when she sued the Indian government at the tender age of nine for not upholding its commitments under the Paris Agreement. She was also one of 16 climate activists to file a complaint against several governments at the UN. These activities have led to Pandey being declared one of the BBC’s 100 most influential and empowering women.
India, as one of the world’s fastest-growing economies and most biodiverse nations, has an important, and necessary, role to play in conservation and protecting the environment.
Pandey lives in Haridwar, Uttarakhand, a state in the North of India; she is daughter of Dinesh Pandey who works in Wildlife Trust India.
In the interview, Pandey outlines her vision: “When you see the work, actions and decisions the government is really taking, it’s the opposite. The Indian government has to step forward and start working towards conservation.”
Pandey goes on to acknowledge that change is difficult. “This is a process that’s going to take time because we need more and more people to do it,” she adds.
The interview has been put together by the Protect Our Planet Movement in association with Planet Classroom. The organisations have launched the Net Zero video and podcast series. Here, 24 leading youth climate activists from the Protect Our Planet (POP) Movement ask international thought leaders working on the environment the big questions as to how their nations are progressing towards their 2050 Net Zero pledges.
The Protect Our Planet (POP) Movement is designed to address the need to share information and knowledge with the youth on solutions to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the UN, mitigate climate change, and adapt to its growing impacts.