Cynthia Houniuhi
Cordelia Hsu—Reuters

Earlier this year, the Pacific Island Students Fighting Climate Change (PISFCC) demonstrated how powerful youth-led, collective action can be. The group’s president, Cynthia Houniuhi, saw the devastating impact of climate change on Pacific island communities and refused to sit idly by.

Cynthia and her peers were instrumental in driving a U.N. resolution calling on the International Court of Justice to issue an advisory opinion clarifying nations’ obligations to tackle climate change. What began as student advocacy quickly grew into a global campaign adopted by Pacific countries and hundreds of governments around the world, all demanding more be done to hold nations accountable for their action—or inaction—on the climate crisis. Climate solutions must be rooted in solidarity, justice, and compassion: values Cynthia and the PISFCC championed so boldly. Leaders must do what is needed to ensure the livable future young people deserve.

Robinson is chair of The Elders and a former President of Ireland

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