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‘Change starts and ends with you’, activist tells climate conference audience

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez (photograph supplied)

Colonialist world views and policies are largely responsible for the global climate crisis, a youth activist told a conference yesterday.

Xiuhtezcatl Roske Martinez added: “The decolonisation of Indigenous people reclaiming their sovereignty, lands and autonomy and protecting their homelands from extraction from the climate crisis are solutions that are pulling us into the future.”

Mr Martinez, who has been an activist since the aged of 6, said current systems to try and confront climate change, such as non-governmental organisations, had not worked.

He said: “Where I found hope [about addressing climate change] is by looking at young activists from organisations, colleges and universities, who are brave enough to imagine an alternative that exists and lean into the work.

“The way that our generation shows up and interacts with our world, that is the power that we hold in transforming the future.”

He spoke to young people during the fourth day of the second Youth Climate Summit at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute.

Another speaker, youth activist Sarah Syed, said that doing little things, such as using less plastic, could make a big difference in tackling climate change.

“Change starts and ends with you,” she said. “It can begin when you use your passions as a tool brush to create change. It’s up to you how you want to use that brush.”

Andrew MacFarlane, head of climate at AXA XL, talked about the difficulty of addressing climate change because of the different goals that organisations have.

He said: “Governments, industries and populations are all motivated by different areas.

“Governments are constrained by the political systems they operate in. Industries are often on a quest for that extra dollar in profit. To what extent do we balance that profitable growth with being responsible and having a purpose as a company?”

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Published November 25, 2022 at 7:55 am (Updated November 25, 2022 at 7:55 am)

‘Change starts and ends with you’, activist tells climate conference audience

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