Children from around the world showed off both their artistic skills and their awareness of climate change in an exhibit yesterday called “Paint for the Planet,” part of the UN Environment Program’s “UNite to Combat Climate Change” initiative. This painting comes from 11-year-old Siem Diem Siong of Malaysia, a testament to the importance of reversing deforestation.
The focus on young climate activists is both a moral imperative and a shrewd strategic decision. Children are disproportionally at risk of suffering from natural disasters that stem from climate change, and, with almost half the world’s population under 25 years old, youth represents the vanguard of climate activism. Overwhelming percentages of children in surveyed countries attested to the urgent need to combat the threat posed by climate change with major steps in the immediate future — revealing the extent to which this position has become almost mainstream in a very short period of time.
For those interested in artwork like Siem’s above, UNEP is holding an auction of 26 such paintings, with the proceeds going to UNICEF emergency relief programs. The deadline for pre-bidding is midnight tonight, so make a bid!