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Youth, climate and environmentalism

Bowman, Ben; Bell, Karen; Alexis-Martin, Becky


Ben Bowman

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Karen Bell
Senior Lecturer Environmental Management

Becky Alexis-Martin



This chapter focuses on youth activism. It argues that this activism is complex and framed in ways that uphold and recognise the connections between environmental justice and global economic, social and political justice. The youth climate strikes have drawn significant attention to this. What stands out about the climate strike movement may be the way that school strikes take place across the conceptual and epistemological boundary of child activism because they disrupt adult institutions, align with adult-led groups and present an easy-to-recognise form of civil disobedience, which is strike action and the withdrawal of labour. At the same time, the climate strikes offer children the opportunity to dissent and disrupt, to express themselves and to organise their own movement led by young people, for young people. We discuss the importance, and the marginalisation, of children as environmental activists. We focus on children, but reflect at the end of the chapter on young people’s activism more widely.


(2021). Youth, climate and environmentalism. In K. Bell (Ed.), Diversity and Inclusion in Environmentalism. Abingdon: Routledge

Acceptance Date Dec 1, 2020
Online Publication Date Jun 1, 2021
Publication Date Jun 3, 2021
Deposit Date Feb 14, 2021
Book Title Diversity and Inclusion in Environmentalism
Chapter Number 9
ISBN 9780367567309
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