Malaysia’s 11-Year-Old Eco-Hero Urges Global Youth to Rise Against Climate Change at COP28
Listen to this story:
Malaysia’s Braden Yong made the nation proud by being one of the selected youth environment activists to be invited to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28). Shedding light on the local floods that have afflicted Malaysian communities in recent years, he used the prestigious platform to urge youths globally to actively play a role in tackling the climate change crisis.
Braden took the initiative to meet with Malaysia’s Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability to strengthen the depth of his arguments before flying abroad to attend COP28.
The 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) was held from 30th November to 12th December in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. More than 70,000 people attended the two-week summit, including presidents, prime ministers, environment activists, and global youth leaders from 167 countries, making COP28 the largest climate conference in history to date.
Acclaimed Swedish environmental activist and Time magazine’s 2019 Person of the Year – Greta Thunberg also presented a compelling speech at COP24 a few years prior, sparking a revolution and becoming a beacon of hope and inspiration to other youths fighting for climate change.
11-year-old environmental advocate Braden Yong, who took the mantle as this year’s Malaysian youth representative, was introduced and invited to the conference through the prominent online English education platform – 51Talk. Despite it being his first time participating in a United Nations conference and speaking at such a global platform, Braden expressed his thoughts in a level of English that had a fluency and clarity beyond his years, impressing those present with his skill and eloquence.
Prior to the conference, Braden also took the initiative to meet with YB Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, Malaysia’s Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability, in early November to strengthen the depth of his arguments before flying abroad to attend COP28.
“During the rainy season, the east coast areas of Malaysia often suffer from heavy rain and flooding. Last year, a significant flood disaster caused road interruptions, houses to be submerged, students to stop attending school, and parents to stop working.“
“As a youth representative of Malaysia, after exchanging ideas with the Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability YB Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, I realized that environmental protection should become the DNA of every young person.“
“Through the stage of the United Nations, I call on young people worldwide to join me in the environmental protection movement, collectively managing our beautiful home and making our global village better and better,” expressed Braden at the summit.
Braden received plenty of recognition and praise at the conference for his thoughtful insights and articulate sharing.