'We're going to be left with the world': Kids explain why climate change matters

Adults tend to remember childhood as a time of carefree innocence, but in 2019 kids are preoccupied with a very serious issue: the state of the planet. 

Our rapidly changing climate means the youth of today are the first generation who can't expect a better future than their parents. 

The young pupils at Auckland's Red Beach Primary School are all too aware of the devastating impact of pollution and carbon emissions. 

Newshub spoke to a group of Year 3 and 4 students who have some thoughts about global warming, animal welfare - and adults who don't believe any of it is happening.

What is climate change? 


"Climate change is ice caps melting, which is causing sea levels to rise." - Maddi

"Because of all the pollution we're causing." - Ashley 

"Climate change is changing weather patterns because of changing global temperatures." - Mila 

"It would probably take two hours to explain it." - Olivia

"In the Amazon, there is about 10,099 little pieces of rubbish." - Taliesin

"I found a dead penguin on the beach." - Joshua 

What will the world look like in 50 years?


"The air will be smoggier, you'll have to put a mask on just to walk out in the street. We would be eating different foods." - Ashley

"It's quite scary to think that when I am a parent, my house will be at the beachfront. The beach would be just piles and piles of plastic." - Maddi

"We won't have polar bears or penguins left, and everybody loves penguins, they're so cute." - Mila

"Yeah, I love penguins." - Olivia

"There's a lot of toxic fumes, if they travel upwards it would make a hole in the ozone layer." - Taliesin

"Kill clouds." - Joshua

What can we do about it?


"In New Zealand, we could stop using coal for electricity." - Ashley

"Get all these animals and just tame them so they can go to other people's houses and be nice and be helpful." - Olivia

"We could stop using plastic, like put a ban on plastic." - Maddi

What would you say to adults who don't believe in climate change?


"I would say that's ridiculous because we're going to be left with the world." - Maddi

"They probably haven't gone to school like us." - Olivia

"I think maybe they just don't think about it and don't care about it." - Mila

"Almost every single animal in the world is almost extinct. If you don't believe in climate change you should go to the beaches and look at what sort of animals have died there. I would tell them, 'you should look after the planet like I did for you'." - Joshua

This story is part of Climate Week - a global collaboration of news outlets to strengthen coverage of climate change in the lead up to the UN climate meeting in New York on September 23.