Better intergenerational political work is the key to making patterns of production and consumption more sustainable in the Nordic Region and other high-income countries. What young people have to say was taken seriously by all of the international delegates who discussed Sustainable Development Goal 12 at the UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in New York.
Henrietta Flodell, Sweden’s youth delegate to the 2018 UN HLPF, delivered the main speech on behalf of the Nordic youth representatives at the fringe event on SDG 12 co-hosted by the Swedish government and the Nordic Council of Ministers on 13 July. She told her audience that the young people of today have the capacity and vision to forge change – provided closer dialogue between the generations is encouraged.
“Young people in the Nordic Region are redefining consumer culture right here, right now. We’re vegetarians, we don’t live in big flats, and we come up with new, circular solutions. But we are also frustrated by the lack of vision and the fact that we don’t have access to forums with the power to make change happen. It’s unreasonable to place such high expectations on young people as engines of change if we aren’t given the support needed to do the work,” Flodell says.
“Politicians must start talking to young people as citizens and not just as consumers. And, on our part, young people must shoulder the responsibility and show that the prosperity of our countries needs to be channelled properly to make change possible,” the youth representative concludes.