Young people often speak up about climate change; the students behind Write For Earth aim to do their part tooLi-An Lim / Unsplash

Climate change, like all socio-environmental issues, is a people-centric problem. It has attracted the attention of scientists and policymakers alike. The academic sphere abounds with articles focused on the climate crisis — there is no dearth of information, nor is there a lack of interest among academics to conduct in-depth research to battle the crisis. But the academic bubble, with its technical and often convoluted writing style, has the innate tendency to make a subject seem exclusionary. And with the power to cause an additional 250,000 deaths per year, climate change is certainly not an exclusive issue. To undo the exclusionary narrative of the climate movement, Write For Earth was born with the intent to break free from an academic lens and recentre the climate conversation around lived experiences.

Founded by two students from Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge, and a third student from the University of Sussex, Write For Earth seeks to communicate the climate crisis in the best way possible. Hannah, Leoni and Matthew (the founders of Write For Earth) met at Generation Climate Europe. Their vision is to create a space where action and policy are actively supplemented by the lived experiences of those most affected by the climate crisis. When several individuals across the globe are involved in a social movement, the amalgamation of ideas often results in positive change, but there is also a tendency for the space to become an echo chamber where one loses focus on the real agenda. Write For Earth seeks to bring the focus back to the fundamental question at hand — how has the climate crisis affected real people who have been facing the wrath of the climate? How do these people envision their future, and what do they think can be done to improve the situation?

Write For Earth seeks to bring the focus back to the fundamental question at hand”

As of now, the three of them are working on bringing out an anthology which will be a compilation of lived experiences — a collection of the hopes of people along with what they consider to be possible solutions. They are accepting submissions till September from individuals all around the world to put together a comprehensive piece. When asked why they chose to consolidate an anthology, they mentioned that they didn’t want to risk reducing anyone’s experience into an academic piece. Quantifying experiences was not the aim, said Matthew. Hannah echoed this thought by adding that their anthology does not constrict people to write in a particular style. They accept all forms of literature, from essays to poetry, and people are free to write in a way that allows them to express their thoughts in the most authentic way possible. According to them, authenticity in climate conversations is missing, and this anthology is their way of contributing to the movement.

“One should have faith that they can contribute their knowledge to the movement”

Write For Earth is a part of the Global University Climate Forum, a platform that brings together youth climate activists from all over the world. As part of the forum, the findings from the anthology will also be summarised in the form of a report. Moreover, this report is also set to be included in a publication that is to be released at the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27). Thus, Write For Earth aims to communicate its findings with the policymakers at a global level, thereby recentring the narrative towards the lived experiences of those truly affected.

Youth activists form a core of the climate movement, and Write For Earth and its founders are a small part of this core. When asked what their advice to other youth climate activists would be, Hannah spoke about how breaking free from the chains of imposter syndrome was essential. One should have faith that they can contribute their knowledge to the movement, even if it is a small contribution.


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Adding to this, Leoni stressed the importance of pacing oneself. She mentioned how one had to realise that fighting against the climate crisis was a group effort. Matthew advised that one should not fall into the trap of measuring impact in a quantitative way — the impact can even be at the interpersonal level. They all agreed that as long as there is passion, one shouldn’t hesitate to join the climate movement. After all, the movement thrives on the lived experiences of individuals and experiences can neither be right nor wrong; they can only be insightful and help further the movement.