Climate change is not a far-away problem — it is causing huge damage right now in Japan and around the world. From air pollution choking many major cities to more extreme heat and natural disasters to 1 million species at risk, the urgent need for climate action is clear. We are all paying the price today, but unless we take action immediately to limit the impact of climate change, it is young people who will be living with the ever-increasing consequences of global warming. So it is no surprise that it is young people who are on the front lines of efforts do something about it.

We cannot afford to ignore the voices of young people. We cannot afford to trivialize their demands. What they say matters.

Today 1.8 billion people in the world are between the ages of 10 and 24, and 1.2 billion of them are aged between 15 and 24. It's not just that we need to listen to the voices of youth, it's because the voices of youth matter.