16-year-old Italian Climate Activist — “I Switched To Action”

Guest Blog Post: Aran Cosentino in Italy is a part of the global movement of climate striking youths demanding climate justice and climate action.

Aran and friend on climate strike

This is my personal story:

My name is Aran Cosentino, I have always loved the environment and I like to photograph capturing unique emotions to remember.

At the age of 12 in 2014 I did my first climate action when I collected signatures to start recycling in the middle school I attended!

When I was 14, in August 2016 I became an environmental activist to save the torrent of my valley, near Udine, in Italy. I became an environmental activist because I had to do something to protect one of the last pristine rivers in Italy. The Alberone river is one of the last unspoiled Italian streams witnessed by the presence of native freshwater crayfish.

I’m always interested in environmental problems but at that moment I switched to action!

In December 2018, after more than two years of struggle we received the news that we had won the battle, the company gave up a project of a non-sustainable hydroelectric power station but built only for the generous incentives of the European Union! I won this battle thanks to social networks.

Aran outdoors by the river he saved

From January 2019 I am part of the national coordination of Friday For Future Italy and since February 8 I take to the streets every Friday in Udine, a city in the north-east of Italy together with other teens.

This new adventure that I am currently facing has enriched me a lot. I met many teens of my age with my same passions from all over Italy and from the world.

The biggest threat now is definitely climate change and human pollution. Even here in our region, Friuli Venezia Giulia has been experiencing climate change for years. For example, see seagulls flying over a mountain river…

On March 15 there was a large climate strike of thousands of students in Udine to ask for climate justice in the wake of Greta Thunberg. I think it is very important to take to the streets to have your say, but it is also essential in everyday life to do small actions against waste.

Aran (left) and other Italian climate strikers.

Young people have great strength and on March 15 they showed it, we ask for concrete actions for our future, not words, we have heard too many!

We will continue to take to the streets until concrete measures against this crisis are implemented, we no longer have time!

The next appointment is 24th of May 2019, the second Global Climate and Future Strike. It is more important to set an example than to talk!

I advise you to fight to defend our home to the end, because that is what matters most in life, to be in harmony with nature. We are all one, us and nature.

I love photography and art, my small dream is to meet Greta because I think she is a great girl with great courage and determination! They should all take an example from her. I hope for a future where we young people can save the planet!

I would like to get in touch with like-minded people. Please contact me if you are a climate youth activist. I would like to get in contact with you and share ideas and co-operate. You could contact me through info@wedonthavetime.org

Written by: Aran Cosentino

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