Galvanized by Greta Thunberg’s idea for Friday school strikes, “climate strikes” emerged in 2018 and 2019 as a form of youth social movement demanding far-reaching action on climate change. Youths have taken various actions to combat climate change, but academics have not paid sufficient attention to youth climate mobilization. This study thus examines the questions of what has motivated youth to mobilize and how they have shaped global climate politics and governance. This study focuses particularly on the narrative of youth activists to address their understanding of climate change and their ideas regarding how to respond to it. Youth collective action has succeeded in problematizing global climate inaction and inertia and in framing climate change from a justice perspective, but activists have faced limitations in converting their moral legitimacy into the power required for sweeping changes. Overall, this study demonstrates the emergence of young people as agents of change in the global climate change arena and the urgency of engaging them in climate change governance and policymaking.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited