Future Voices promotional image

Agustín Ocaña of Ecuador, the founder and chairperson of the Global Youth Coalition, is one of 14 young climate activists featured in the Future Voices videos.

(Image: Future Voices)

AI-Aged Youth Warn of Climate Perils From 2050

"World leaders are not listening to the younger generation, so what if we turn young climate advocates into older versions of themselves—into their future voices?"

With help from generative artificial intelligence, We Don't Have Time turned over a dozen young climate campaigners into future versions of themselves to stress to world leaders the necessity of bolder action to tackle the climate emergency.

We Don't Have Time, the world's largest social network for climate solutions, launched the "Future Voices" initiative on Thursday, as the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) began in the United Arab Emirates and scientists warned that after months of devastating heat and extreme weather events, 2023 is "virtually certain" to be the warmest year on record.

"World leaders are not listening to the younger generation, so what if we turn young climate advocates into older versions of themselves—into their future voices?" said David Olsson of We Don't Have Time. "Then the demand for ending fossils and accelerating solutions can't be ignored. We encourage everyone to support this message."

The Future Voices website highlights that current children and young adults will suffer the consequences of the fossil fuel-driven climate emergency "to a much higher degree than previous generations," and already, youth worldwide are enduring the impacts of heating the planet and reporting that the crisis is taking a toll on their mental health.

The website features an interactive globe through which users can view video testimonies from campaigners around the world (also included below). One of them stars Swedish Fridays for Future and Climate Live campaigner Andreas Magnusson, who said in a statement that "in the fight against the climate crisis, including and listening to young people is crucial."

Speaking from Sweden in 2050, the AI-aged Magnusson says in his video that "in my hometown, Mockfjärd, I've seen landslide after landslide hit, caused by the heavy raining. And yet, I am not the one who suffers most. I come from a great place of privilege. I come from a part of the world that is not affected by nature's fury like other parts of the world are."

Activists from other parts of the world, in their own video messages from 2050, speak of "vast droughts causing water shortage," more frequent hurricanes, rising sea levels, and "floods and plagues."

Near the end of Magnusson's video, the 2023 version of him warns: "Time is running out. The choices world leaders make today will determine the kind of world we will live in tomorrow. The future is now."

In addition to the AI videos, the Future Voices initiative includes an online hub to help young activists who can't make it to Dubai still participate in COP28. Organizers are planning daily broadcasts with climate leaders and decision-makers.

"We are very proud and happy to be able to offer this opportunity for young people to get access to the most important climate negotiations of the year and deliver their messages to world leaders," said Olsson. "It would not have been possible without our incredible community of youth climate advocates."

Magnusson said that "Future Voices and the youth hub make the discussions at COP28 more inclusive."

"World leaders hold not only our future in their hands, they also hold our present, because we are already today affected by the climate crisis," the campaigner added. "And, frankly, it is youth who most of the time bring bold ideas and the unfiltered truth to the discussions about the future of humanity. Discussions that for 30 years haven't been able to even mention 'oil' in their agreements."

Watch more of the Future Voices videos below:

Nikka Gerona of the Philippines is co-chair of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Regional Young People's Action Team in East Asia and the Pacific.

Isaias Hernandez of the United States is an environmental justice educator and public speaker who created QueerBrownVegan.

Valeria Horton of Mexico founded Green Reconnection and was the Mexican lead negotiator for loss and damage at COP27.

Sophia Mathur of Canada is a climate advocate with Fridays for Future and recipient of the 2021 Action for Nature International Award.

Agustín Ocaña of Ecuador is the founder and chairperson of the Global Youth Coalition.

Anita Soina of Kenya is a climate advocate, politician, and global youth champion for the U.N.-hosted partnership Sanitation and Water for All.

Other featured activists include Farzana Faruk Jhumu of Bangladesh, an advocate with Fridays for Future and Feminist Action Coalition for Climate Justice; Denzel James of Australia, a UNICEF young ambassador; and Madina Kimaro of Tanzania, a UNICEF youth advocate and climate advocacy champion for the Tanzania Girl Guides Association.

There are also videos from Emma Kroese of the Netherlands, a climate advocate with Fridays for Future; Ashley Lashley of Barbados, a UNICEF youth advocate and CARICOM youth ambassador; Geoffrey Mboya of Kenya, a humanitarian, sustainability advocate, and youth adviser of the WeDontHaveTime Foundation; and Joaquín Salinas Atenas of Chile, a socioenvironmental artivist and UNICEF COP26 youth delegate.

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