Listening is a crucial aspect of our society, and possibly the part which still is a work in progress as we hardly push ourselves to listen. This is why the report Securing our Future 100 African and European Voices on Climate Change, Conflict and Security, produced by the European Investment Bank and Debating Europe and Debating Africa, has caught our attention. We will investigate this report over a three-series blog, bringing the perspective of 100 young people. Needless to say that the voice of 100 youths aged 18-35 hailing from all across Europe and Africa is important for various reasons. However, this will become more evident as we explore the report’s takeaways.
In this first blog, we will discuss what has been deemed by the youth as the biggest threat. It should be no surprise that it has been clearly defined as Climate Change. The latter has brought other challenges, such as food insecurity or extreme weather events, thus bringing to light the fact that the youths are very conscious of the wide-ranging effects of climate change.
A very interesting view was the inaction over climate change that has been highlighted. A critical perspective expressed by participants across the European countries was that climate change was being looked at as a long-term concern raising sometime in the future. Even though the effects are already evident nowadays. However, this view was also shared amongst Africans reflecting on the African continent. The same opinion was echoed, as African countries still undervalued climate change.
Comparison to Covid-19 was inevitable. The pandemic brought together the entire European continent, springing the governments and people in power into action. The usual competing governments’ endless arguments and disagreements were suddenly transformed into a cooperative team. This shows that Europe can have a very different future from the divided one usually portrayed on the news.