Natasha Lepage: Championing Climate Justice at the World Social Forum 2024

In a significant stride toward climate advocacy, Natasha Lepage, a dedicated human rights and climate justice activist from Luxembourg, took center stage as a speaker at the World Social Forum 2024 in Nepal. Known for her passionate activism that began in her early teens, Natasha has been a formidable voice in the climate movement, emphasizing the urgency of addressing the global climate crisis. Her involvement in the Forum highlighted her commitment to fostering a global dialogue on climate justice and the need for a paradigm shift in how the world approaches development and environmental sustainability.

Starting her activism fighting for human rights at the tender age of 14 and later joining the international student climate movement Fridays For Future at 16, Natasha has consistently fought to put pressure on governments for climate action. Her journey reflects a profound concern for the planet’s future, motivating her to seek deeper knowledge and engagement in politics, international relations, and geography at the University College Dublin, Ireland.

As a United Nations Youth Delegate for Luxembourg, Natasha and her co-delegate Julien Wald represented Luxembourg’s youth at the 78th session of the UN General Assembly in New York. Her advocacy strongly focuses on the inclusion of youth in policymaking, arguing that young voices should not only be heard as a formality but should significantly influence policy decisions. Natasha’s participation in the World Social Forum 2024 in Nepal from Luxembourg was a testament to her belief in international solidarity and intergenerational responsibility in combating climate change.

Addressing Global Challenges

At the Forum, Natasha spoke eloquently about the multifaceted challenges confronting youth activists, particularly the disillusionment with political inaction and superficial commitments from world leaders. She shared insights into the mobilization efforts of the Fridays For Future movement and the psychological toll of eco-anxiety on young activists, driven by the immense responsibility to mitigate the climate crisis.

Natasha criticized the slow pace of political leaders in implementing meaningful climate policies, despite overwhelming scientific evidence and public demand for action. She highlighted the failures of international agreements like the Paris Agreement to enforce substantial change and called out the detrimental influence of corporate lobbying from the fossil fuel sector on climate policies.

Vision for the Future

Advocating for a systemic transformation, Natasha urged for a shift towards a development model that balances environmental sustainability with social equity and economic prosperity. She championed the principles of a circular economy and the importance of redefining economic success beyond traditional growth metrics. Her speech at the World Social Forum 2024 session, organized by AEIN’s local partner ROYM, underscored the critical need for affordable sustainability solutions and the role of social justice in securing a viable future for all.

Natasha’s contributions to the World Social Forum 2024 in Nepal underscore her role as a pivotal figure in climate activism. Through her advocacy and public speaking, Natasha continues to inspire a generation of activists to demand a more equitable, sustainable, and just world, reinforcing the idea that collective action and international cooperation are indispensable in the face of the climate crisis.

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