Licypriya Kangujam, 11, is a leading voice in anti-coal protests at home and calls out rich and powerful countries abroad, asking them to make up for the loss and destruction caused due to their unabated regard for the climate.
Licypriya, or Licy, as she is affectionately called in her hometown of Manipur, is a fierce advocate of climate action. She leads marches, organises sit-ins and delivers powerful speeches to further her activism, in what she describes as a fight for “our future”.
“This is the fight for the future of our planet – our future,” she told NBC News from COP27 in Egypt’s Sharm el Sheikh. “My generation is the victim of climate change, but I don’t want our future generations to face the consequences of inaction by our leaders.”
At this year’s climate summit in Egypt, Licy pointed out how there was a need for the world’s richest and the most powerful to take ownership of the deteriorating climate caused by their policies and unabated development in the past.
My message to our world leaders on Day 9 of #COP27. pic.twitter.com/b9u6QDNi2D— Licypriya Kangujam (@LicypriyaK) November 14, 2022
Many others are asking richer countries to compensate by paying climate reparations to poorer countries suffering from the devastating impacts of the climate crisis.
The ‘Loss and Damage’ framework of COP26 provided a roadmap to get the process done institutionally, and this year, for the first time, it was on the agenda of the summit.
In little over a decade, the South Asian region, for example, has faced large-scale flooding, costing billions of dollars in losses, while impacting millions of people.
Licy’s activism has garnered her over 160,000 followers on Twitter, where she frequently writes threads and executes campaigns to raise climate awareness. A month ago, her protest against coal mining in the Hasdeo Aranya region of Chattisgarh attracted nationwide attention.
A report published in The Diplomat calls Hasdeo, situated in the northern district of Sarguja, a biodiversity-rich dense forest spread over 170,000 hectares and home to more than 350 species of animals.
Adani Coal Mining at Hasdeo Forest, India. 😢— Licypriya Kangujam (@LicypriyaK) October 15, 2022
Before After pic.twitter.com/kekWrE1EDT
But the area also hosts one of India’s largest coal reserves.
While some call Licy’s campaign against the mining equivalent to be against development, the 11-year-old climate activist, on the other hand, continues to argue in favour of environmental-friendly product.
Licy’s struggle would remind one of another youngster, a Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, who started activism when she was 15.
However, Licy doesn’t like a parallel to be drawn with Thunberg.
In an interview with The National News, she said: “I have my own name, my own story and my own identity. If the media calls me Greta of India, then they are not writing my story, they are deleting a story.”