Kenyan climate activist makes it to the 2022 ‘TIME100 Next’ list

Elizabeth Wathuti delivers her speech at the Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, United Kingdom, in November 2021.

Photo credit: Pool I Nation Media Group

28-year-old Elizabeth Wathuti, a young Kenyan climate and environmental activist has been named among by TIME in its 2022 TIME100 Next list.

Ms Wathuti is the compelling young lady who made a passionate appeal asking world leaders to open their hearts at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow last year.

According to TIME, her powerful advocacy on the international stage has helped bring to the world’s attention the climate impacts already devastating her home country, and other countries across the African continent.

“The climate crisis is an existential threat and a grave injustice that can feel insurmountable. Yet Elizabeth Wathuti’s rallying activism shows us that we all have the power to forge a safer and more sustainable future, if only we choose to.

Driven by the devastating impacts of climate change in Kenya, Elizabeth’s Green Generation Initiative (GGI)encourages young people to love nature while supporting communities  to implement climate solutions,” the TIME said on its official website on Wednesday while adding that compassion for people and planet is essential to  Ms Wathuti’s work.  

Open our hearts

“We must open our hearts, listen to those most affected by the climate crisis and act, she told delegates at COP26.”

The TIME further adds that her tenacious belief in our human capacity to do what is right should move and inspire everyone.

“She demonstrates that climate action requires urgency, but that together we can—and must—create a better world.”

At the beginning of the year Ms Wathuti  launched  calling for the upcoming COP27 climate change negotiations in Egypt to establish a dedicated loss and damage finance facility to help those least responsible for causing the climate crisis cope with its impacts.

Ms Wathuti’s tree-growing initiative enhances food security and is inspired by the work of the late Nobel Laureate Professor Wangari Maathai while she is also the Head of Campaigns and Founding Director of the African Youth Climate Leaders Hub at the Wangari Maathai Foundation.

While receiving the news Ms Wathuti said, “It is a great honor to be included in this year’s TIME100 Next list.

Today I especially wish to celebrate the tireless efforts of my friends in the global youth climate movement, who are also fighting every day for a safe future.

Together, we are an unstoppable movement of millions, and we will not tire, we will make change happen.”

The TIME explains that TIME100 Next is an expansion of the TIME100 list which is made up of the most influential people in the world and highlights 100 emerging leaders who are shaping the future of business, entertainment, sports, politics, health, science and activism, and more.

“ The full list and related tributes appear in the Oct. 10 / Oct. 17  issue of TIME, available on newsstands on Friday, Sept. 30, and now live at”