It is surely an injustice that there are billions of people on this planet who have no power to influence decisions that are going to affect their future lives - particularly around climate change. This isn’t because they live in undemocratic societies but because they are too young to vote. UNICEF says there are approximately 1.3 billion adolescents aged 10-19 in the world.
Although moves to lower the voting age to 16 in many places are happening that still leaves billions of children whose interests are unrepresented. In Canada, Teegan Walshe, a teenager from the Fridays for Future Qualicum group, has started a petition to the Canadian government to:
- Require all Members of Parliament, regardless of party lines, to consult with a secondary or elementary school leadership, student council, or environmental youth group of their riding (i.e. under-18 youth representatives), before Parliament holds the second reading of any bill that directly affects Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions; and
- The purpose of the consultation will be to listen to the viewpoints of those directly affected by the specified bill, but who do not already have representation in Parliament.
Previously Walshe has made the same demands at the city council in her town. If you have kids (or grandkids, or nieces and nephews, or ….) what could you do in your town or state/province or nation to make this kind of consultation the status quo?