The world today faces a daunting task to resolve ecological problems that have come as a result of human activity. These problems threaten to change life and ecosystems on earth as we know it. Despite the extensive efforts being undertaken today to address sustainable development, it is clear that tomorrow’s generation will be left with a liability of huge challenges in environmental, social, political and economic areas.Anthropogenic climate change is one of the biggest threats to humanity and the entire life forms of the planet earth. Kenya is one of the most vulnerable countries to the impacts of climate change and is already experiencing the effects, which include recurrent and prolonged droughts, floods, glacial-melting in Mt. Kenya, landslides and sea level rise among others.
Brief overview of the solution
Addressing the problem of climate change has two faces. One is mitigation, in which there is a general understanding that the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere needs to be at 350 parts per million (ppm) the level it was in the year 1980. However, it has been on the increase despite attempts made by world leaders through mechanisms like the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol. The GHG concentration is currently standing at approximately 400ppm.The other face is adaptation and this project has both adaptation and mitigation components. This is because the impacts of climate change are already taking place and even if the GHG concentrations were stabilized today or reduced, the impact for vulnerable and natural resource-dependent countries like Kenya would create devastating impacts for a number of years. Given the failure of governments to agree on a strong commitment to curb climate change in Copenhagen, we feel there is an even more pressing need to not wait for a climate treaty and equip ourselves and our communities with the requisite skills and values to tackle climate issues.
Youth under 35 make over 75% of Kenya’s total population. Over 700,000 graduate each year from institutions of higher learning. With increased youth unemployment in the country, support structures for young people need to be strengthened through emerging solutions to the pressing global challenges. These youth could be a huge social investment for effective mitigation of global challenges or could be a threat to social cohesion if not meaningfully engaged. A concerted effort must also be undertaken to enlighten communities on the dangers of human activities on the climate and what individuals and communities can do to mitigate the impacts and push for change.
Global Power Shift
Global Power Shift (GPS) aims to be a catalyst for bolder, broader, deeper action and organizing in youth movements to confront the climate crisis and for social justice. We want a world safe from climate chaos where social justice and community ownership allow people to participate in the creation of future. Unfortunately the fossil fuel industry has the government and economic institutions in their pockets, which results in a continued focus on fossil fuels and limited investments in sustainable alternatives. Our activities will empower communities to speak truth to power, whether that be companies, the government or any other bodies.