Climate Action, The Essentials: understanding and tackling climate change

What is the cause of climate change? What is the difference between mitigation and adaptation actions? 

This guide explains key concepts like global warming and the impacts of climate change.

Adapted from the Young Climate Activists in Latin American and the Caribbean toolkits, developed by young activists and UNICEF experts, the Climate Action for Youth series will provide you with the knowledge, tools, and resources to participate in global youth climate action and advocate for change. 


GIF about global warming


1. What is climate change?    

Climate change refers to variations in global temperatures and weather patterns that occur over time. 

Variability in climate happens naturally, but today’s climate change comes from global warming that is primarily caused by human activities that are altering the composition of the atmosphere. 

👉Learn more about how climate change is impacting Bangladesh with climate activist Tahsin Uddin.

GIF of a polluting car


2. Global warming is the increase in temperatures recorded over many years 

Burning fossil fuels for energy and clearing lands for farming produces CO2, a type of greenhouse gas.

Marine and land ecosystems can store this gas, but when more CO2 is being released than stored, it leads to rising temperatures over time.  

Illustration about the impacts of climate change

3. How does climate change impact us?  

Climate change can impact societies, economies, and ecosystems.

It can lead to extreme weather events, biodiversity loss, increased health risks, and the displacement of people.  

👉 Check this photo essay, by 17-year-old Russell, from Dominica, on how climate change impacted his island and the life of its people. 

Illustration about mitigation and adaptation measures


4. Climate change impacts can be tackled with mitigation and adaptation measures. 

Mitigation refers to actions that reduce greenhouse gases, like switching to renewable energy such as solar and burning fewer fossil fuels. 

Adaptation are actions that manage the risks of climate change impacts, like building resilient infrastructure. 

👉Learn how Nkosi, is a 17-year-old UNICEF Youth Climate Ambassador in Zimbabwe, is advocating for climate action in his community. 

Climate action gif


5. Tackling climate change is everyone’s responsibility  

 Mitigation and adaptation actions can be adopted at national, international level, and on an individual level. 

This can include using public transportation or reducing your consumption habits.

But these actions cannot prevent all climate risks, which is why commitments and regulations from governments are necessary.  

👉Check how Mitzi, a climate activist in the Philippines, is campaigning for Climate Justice in a COVID-19 world.

It’s your turn. Do you enjoy blogging, creating visual content or writing poems? You can share your thoughts on how climate change is impacting your community or how you are taking climate action. Submit your content through Voices of Youth following these steps.

💡 Looking for inspiration? Read some of the blogs and videos created by young climate activists here.