Q&A: Young people know how to work together

Aieza Grace at Exploring Loss and Damage at Cop 26
Ineza Grace at Exploring Loss and Damage at Cop 26. Copyright:Justin Goff/UK Government,CC BY-NC-ND 2.0


  • Climate change affects her community
  • Women needed to talk to women
  • Women speaking give a sense of hope


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Ineza Grace is just 25 years old, but she has already represented Rwanda at three United Nations climate change summits.

She has also helped establish two youth climate networks – one international and one at home – which are putting young people at the centre of high-level talks about the world’s future.

While running between meetings at COP26, Ineza tellsSciDev.Netwhy women and young girls are making their voices heard and demanding change.


There’s this understanding that some leaders, especially from the global North, are trying to come up clean for the media, because now more than ever everyone is aware that climate inaction is doing an injustice, especially in the global South. But when you’re looking technically at the negotiations, there’s no such thing as big progress. One of the facts that I can give for example is [valuing the cost of climate change impacts which have caused] loss and damage, it’s one of the biggest injustices that we are facing. ‘Loss and damage’ is what happens when it’s too late to mitigate or adapt to climate change.

您是损失和损害青年联盟的成员,还创建了另一个组织The Green Protector。


How is climate change impacting young people? And how do you see it affecting your futures?

我年轻时就受到气候变化的影响,但我不知道这是气候变化。我只是在半夜醒来以挽救我的生命的记忆。我的妈妈是唤醒我的人,因为密集的降雨和风摧毁了我的房屋天花板。当我读完高中时,我看到了一个消息,即在我国的这个特定地区,人们被迫搬家,因为侵蚀和洪水袭击了他们的地区。因此,我去学习环境工程。beplay足球体育的微博损失和损害使我的未来造成了损失。We are here [at COP26] because we want to go back home and say to our community, ‘Now you can rest assured we have come to a solution.’ But whenever I’m in the room, you can hear the frustration because developed countries, small island countries have been making their demands clear for ages.

What role do women play in the solutions for climate change, particularly in Sub-Saharan African communities? There have been some fantastic voices here at COP26, especially young women from Africa.

First of all, they are heroes, because they manage to live in areas where we still go to fetch water at a very long distance, or fetch wood. But we don’t give up because women do have that sense of nature [needing] protection. I’m blessed to be coming from Rwanda, a country where women’s voices are much more highlighted and empowered. But in some countries, there’s no women to influence decisions, which means that most of the solutions are not gender responsive. We are using our voice to demand change. And when a woman speaks, another woman listens. If I enter a room, I need to speak so that a fellow female who is in the room will feel encouraged to speak up too.

And that highlights the importance of having role models for girls and young women.

是的是的。因为我们长大后认为房间里的男人是做出决定的人。我必须意识到女性具有同等的力量,因为我在这种心态中知道[成为一个女人]等于保持嘴巴的闭嘴,并按照您的告知。因此,我相信现在非洲正在上升,因为妇女正在大声疾呼,她们正在占用空间,他们正在创造希望。因为当我看到肯尼亚的同事[伊丽莎白·瓦苏蒂(Elizabeth Wathuti)]大声疾呼,或者来自乌干达的凡妮莎·纳克特(Vanessa Nakate)时,当我看到那些妇女大声疾呼时,这是一种希望。

This piece was produced by SciDev.Net’s sub-Saharan Africa English desk.