Climate Change, Children and Intergenerational Equity

On March 29, 2018, Equity for Children hosted a talk at The New School about intergenerational equity and environmental justice in partnership with the sustainability-focused student organization, Oikos NYC, and with support from the New School’s Environmental Studies Program. The objective was to engage with young people to discuss and share what youths are doing and can do now to challenge the status quo and advocate for a healthy environment for present and future generations. The event sought to answer the following questions:


  • What does intergenerational equity mean when looked at through the lens of climate change?
  • What is the cost of inaction for young people today and for future generations?
  • How can children and youth advocate intergenerational equity?

Today’s generation of young people will be disproportionately affected by climate change. Children are at greater risk of climate-linked illnesses, and more vulnerable during natural disasters, the consequences of which can have lifetime effects. For young people living in poverty or social exclusion, this vulnerability is magnified. As they become adults, today’s generation of children and youth will likely experience the worst effects of a changing climate, raising issues of inter-generational equity. Despite these concerns, young people are rarely addressed in climate adaptation policies, and their potential as agents of change is often under-estimated. The dynamic contributions of young people today, and not just as tomorrow’s leaders, deserves visibility and promotion.

After the event, we interviewed our speakers Samantha Cocco-Klein, Equity for Children Senior Advisor and Milano PhD Candidate, and Julia Puaschunder, Economist, Author and NSSR PhD Candidate, about some of the points they emphasized during the event presentations and discussions.


Watch Samantha Cocco-Klein discuss the importance of youth voice in climate change advocacy:


Listen to Julia Puaschunder tell us about The New School’s Climate Mapping Project and its intended impact on climate advocacy:

Watch the full event video on the Equity for Children Facebook page.


Listen to our interview of Julia Puaschunder about responsible intergenerational leadership.

Read Samantha Cocco-Klein‘s research on youth-led and youth-targeting initiatives to address climate change in China, the Pacific Islands and the United States.


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