Guwahati: Siddhartha Sharma, the only Northeasterner from Guwahati, Assam, has made it to the list of top 17 young Climate Change leaders who will be the face of United Nations India’s new campaign #WeTheChangeNow.

This is a national campaign by the United Nations in India that celebrates climate action and youth-led climate solutions. The campaign brings together young people, youth climate leaders, and policymakers by encouraging dialogue, inspiring more people to take action, and collaborating to go for more. 

The United Nations in India announced the launch of this climate campaign, We The Change, on September 27. The initiative aims to showcase climate solutions pioneered by young Indians as a celebration of India’s climate leadership. 

Through the #WeTheChangeNow call to action, 17 young climate champions will invite young Indians to join the movement by sharing their climate action stories on the campaign website. 

Also read: Climate change may intensify floods in India: Study

The campaign’s 17 young climate leaders represent innovation and action across diverse sectors, including renewables, forest management, financing, climate entrepreneurship, sustainable agriculture, disaster risk reduction, ecosystem restoration, water conservation, and waste management. 

“I am humbled to be a part of this amazing cohort of 17 climate changemakers. Interacting with my fellow climate leaders, I feel I know so little about climate change and its multifaceted nature. Being a part of something like this is really a privilege, and then to have a platform to share experiences through this #WeTheChangeNOW campaign that inspires more people to act is really fulfilling,” Siddhartha Sharma told EastMojo.

On being asked how he plans to bring about change and contribute to the initiative, he said, “My first encounter with climate change happened during college, and it was largely from a global perspective. However, my focus shifted to Assam and NE last year when I witnessed the difficulties of flood victims first hand. With more melting snow in the Himalayas and intense rainfall, things will only get worse from here. As a Global Shaper, at the Global Shapers Guwahati Hub, we work to support relief drives, create advance preparedness and build platforms and tools for community participation,” said the young change maker.

“Secondly, as an innovator, I am developing products and solutions that will fight emissions and help deal with climate change, more effectively. I hope to present these soon to the government and the public for better preparedness. I contribute to the campaign by sharing my disaster management experiences as well as these innovations I am working on,” Sharma added

The 27-year-old is a Sustainability and Climate Risk practitioner within the financial risk management domain and is also the founder of the investech company CredFIC. He has previously served as the organization’s CFO before his exit from the company in 2021. 

The young change-maker is the Founding Curator of the Global Shapers Guwahati Hub (an initiative of the World Economic Forum), and he also co-leads its climate and environment agenda. 

Over the last two years, he has directly worked with various communities providing them with relief and rehabilitation opportunities and has engaged with nearly 10,000 flood-affected individuals. With the Shapers from Guwahati Hub, Siddhartha recently received high praise from the Deputy Commissioner of the Barpeta District for the efforts during the Assam Floods of 2021.

Also read: Climate change could have led to emergence of coronavirus: Study

“We can still make a difference, restore our planet, and make peace with nature. These 17 young climate leaders, the faces of the We The Change movement, are showing us the way ahead towards climate justice and climate action. Their stories have inspired me and I hope they inspire people everywhere to share their climate actions, big or small, using #WeTheChangeNOW,” says Dia Mirza, UN Secretary-General’s Advocate for Sustainable development Goals, Actor, and Producer, who has lent her support to the digital campaign.

“The campaign – inspired by the stories of India’s young climate leaders – encourages us to adopt a more solution-based, innovative approach to fight climate change. We know solutions are already within reach to solve the present climate crisis. We hope that through the #WeTheChangeNow campaign, we will inspire bolder climate action from people, communities, and the national and state governments,” says Deirdre Boyd, UN Resident Coordinator in India.

“We need enabling spaces for co-learning and collaboration for effective climate action. It’s inspiring to be part of a journey that allows me to meet other young people who are championing climate action and advocacy while collaborating with various policymakers and other climate stakeholders,” says Archana Soreng, young climate campaigner and member of the UN Secretary-General’s Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change. 

Also read: Report: Climate change could move 200 million people by 2050

India has shown great leadership in combating climate change through its strategic and timely climate policies. Currently, India is on track to meet its Paris Climate Agreement commitments and is likely to outperform its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in critical sectors, including renewable energy. 

Challenges remain, and the valuable contributions of young people in green action and recovery, can propel breakthrough innovations to protect India and the world, especially the most vulnerable, from the impact of climate change Throughout the campaign, we will create spaces for young people, civil society, climate groups, media, and governments to collaborate through online dialogues, discussions, and face-to-face interactions. 

Also read: The most sobering report card yet on climate change and Earth’s future

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