On Monday, Licypriya Kangujam boldly rushed onto the COP28 stage, holding a sign above her head that read: “End fossil fuels. Save our planet and our future.” The audience clapped in response, but Kangujam was later escorted away, as reported by news agency Reuters.

COP28 director-general ambassador Majid Al Suwaidi responded positively to the enthusiasm displayed by young activists at the summit. According to Reuters, he encouraged the audience to applaud Licypriya Kangujam, recognizing the importance of youth engagement in the global climate conversation.

In a video shared on social media, Kangujam revealed that she was detained for over 30 minutes after her protest. Her “crime,” as she put it, was asking for the phasing out of fossil fuels – a crucial step in addressing the top cause of the climate crisis.

Expressing her concern about the consequences of climate change, Kangujam stressed that millions of children, like herself, are losing their lives, parents, and homes due to climate disasters. She called it a “real climate emergency” and suggested a shift in priorities, urging leaders to redirect funds from wars to critical areas like ending hunger, providing education, and fighting climate change.

Who is Licypriya Kangujam?

Born on October 2, 2011, Licypriya Kangujam is a young activist who has been advocating against climate change since July 2018 and gained international recognition for addressing world leaders at the UN Climate Conference 2019. Kangujam’s dedication to climate action has earned her prestigious awards, including the World Children Peace Prize Laureate 2019 and the Global Child Prodigy Award Winner 2020.

Inspired by climate activist Greta Thunberg, Kangujam initiated a week-long protest outside Parliament House in 2019 to draw attention to the need for a climate change law in India.