Empowering young people with climate and ocean science: Five strategies for adults to consider

Elsevier, One Earth, Volume 5, 19 August 2022
Kelly R., Elsler L.G., Polejack A., van der Linden S., Tonnesson K., Schoedinger S.E. et al.

Young people are the leaders of the future. Many young people are concerned and overwhelmed about the impacts of climate and ocean change and are emerging as advocates for action. However, challenges including social injustice, climate anxiety, nature disconnectedness, and fake news limit their ability to protect their future from the impacts of climate and ocean change. The conventional dissemination of new scientific knowledge alone is not enough to prepare and empower young people to cope with these challenges. Here, we present five actionable strategies to engage and empower young people with climate and ocean science in support of long-term sustainability: inclusion of diverse voices, active dialogue-based science learning, connection to nature, critical thinking skills, and co-created visions of a sustainable future. These strategies can help to strengthen young people's engagement and agency to meet climate and ocean challenges. Together, the strategies can synergistically empower young people to have a say in shaping their sustainable future.