COP26: Joe Biden arrives in Glasgow for climate summit

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It comes as the US President pledged to slash global methane emissions by 30 percent, leading an alliance of 90 countries at COP26. But Hilda Flavia Nakabuye, now 24 years old, is not convinced. The young activist first stepped onto the world stage in 2019 at a United Nations Climate Change Conference. Speaking at the conference, she said: “I come here to represent millions of African young people who are bearing the brunt of the climate crisis. As I speak to you right now, extreme weather events are killing people in my country.”

“We need leadership on climate action, not talks.”

Ms Nakabuye rocked the room and left the crowd erupting in cheers.

But she is furious that since that summit, little progress has been made.

Ms Nakabuye fears that at COP26, the current climate summit being held in Glasgow right now, smaller countries will like her homeland will not be heard.

In 2019, she urged: “”For how long will you keep negotiating? You’ve been negotiating for the last 25 years, even before I was born.”

Ms Nakabuye said she first learned about climate change as a university student in Uganda, where she learnt that some of the disasters and impacts her country was facing was a direct result of a warming climate.

She revealed how growing up on a farm with crops needed for survival so saw heavy rainfall flood devastate the plantation one day.

She said at the C40 World Mayors Summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2019: “I am lucky I am still surviving.”

And Ms Nakabuye is not alone in her struggle.

Last year, intense rainfall caused severe flooding on the shores of Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa, displaced hundreds of thousands of people.

Millions of Ugandans also depend on subsistence farming, so floods as well as droughts can be devastating to their livelihoods.

These impacts have prompted Ms Nabakuye to set up an organisation of young climate activists called Fridays for Future Uganda, a global network that holds climate strikes on Fridays, inspired by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg.

The group now has over 50,000 members and has several representatives present at the COP.

Ms Nabakuye said in an interview: “This is a matter of life and death.

“And our survival depends on the actions we take right now.”

But Ms Nabakuye is not the only impressive young activists who has made her voice heard at the COP.

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In a letter penned to world leaders on the morning of the COP26, Greta Thunberg and three other young activists called on world leaders to “face up to the climate emergency”.

The letter warned: “We are catastrophically far from the crucial goal of 1.5C and yet governments everywhere are still accelerating the crisis, spending billions on fossil fuels.

“We urge you to face up to the climate emergency and keep the precious goal of 1.5°C alive with immediate, drastic, annual emission reductions, unlike anything the world has ever seen. There is still time to avoid the worst consequences if we are prepared to change.”

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