With the tagline ‘Make a difference. Change the world’, Generation Earth strives to recognise and develop green thinkers who are tomorrow’s global leaders.
In late 2011 the green organisation hosted the Inaugural Generation Earth Youth Summit on Climate Change, which took place at Thaba Ya Batswana in Gauteng. Partners in the summit included the United Nations Environmental Programme, UNDP, Department of Environmental Affairs, Lead SA, Pick n Pay, Eskom, Thaba Ya Batswana, Brand South Africa as well as the Department of Basic Education – proof that while Generation Earth is a green networking platform with the youth, for the youth and by the youth, it has captured the attention of both government and big business in South Africa.
Call to action
Plenary discussions at the event included one with cabinet Minister Trevor Manuel, who said: “It is up to you as Generation Earth to hold the previous generation’s feet to the fire. You are the change, we hand over this battle to you, hold us accountable and become leaders who fight for climate justice. I applaud you as Generation Earth and I am honoured to be a part of this gathering.” Some of the issues that were discussed, deliberated and expanded on at the summit included how the youth can activate policy to ensure that consumers are more carbon
conscious, understanding how a global green economy works, best practices for renewable energy development, creating employment opportunities in the green industry and how to make worthwhile energy efficient choices as well as innovative energy ideas and programme development.
Following the Summit, a statement was drawn up, along with recommendations, and presented to the Minister of Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa. The co-founder of Generation Earth, Ella Bella, who is also the United Nations Environmental Programme youth ambassador for Southern Africa said: “It is my goal for the youth to take up the challenge that climate change poses, engage, network and set the earth’s rehabilitation in motion. The summit has provided a platform of discussion, open forum debate and interaction, between leaders in the fields of water, energy, biodiversity and African climate change issues.”
For more information or to get involved, visit www.generationearth.co.za.