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A journey of emotions from a young environmental activist

Halstead, Florence; Parsons, Lucie R.; Dunhill, Ally; Parsons, Katie


Florence Halstead

Lucie R. Parsons

Ally Dunhill

Katie Parsons


The Earth is currently undergoing a sixth global-scale ecological crisis. The most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report of 2021 highlighted a need to curb global heating at 1.5 degrees above the pre-industrial baseline, and outlined a range of likely impacts of climate change on global societies should no action be taken, particularly in relation to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. Despite this need, policy-based action at a nation state level is lacking, with talks at COP25 failing to reach necessary agreements. In response to this, and as we approach COP26, a significant global youth movement has been activated, with children and young people taking it upon themselves to highlight a need for climate and environmental action, calling for others to follow. This paper follows the emotional journey of one of its co-authors, 11-year-old environmental activist, Lucie. Through the innovative approach of co-production with Lucie, in this paper we detail the role of emotion in one youth activist's journey. From her initial reactions watching BBC’s Blue Planet II, to the multifaceted highs and lows that have followed as she strives for change, we illuminate the emotional implications such experiences may have on children and young people.
Through co-constructed autoethnography, this paper analyses the emotional journey of a young environmental activist. It considers the role that emotions have played at various stages of her activism, and how hope has been utilised to overcome challenges.


Halstead, F., Parsons, L. R., Dunhill, A., & Parsons, K. (2021). A journey of emotions from a young environmental activist. Area,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 1, 2021
Online Publication Date Sep 3, 2021
Publication Date Sep 3, 2021
Deposit Date Sep 16, 2021
Publicly Available Date Sep 4, 2023
Journal Area
Print ISSN 0004-0894
Electronic ISSN 1475-4762
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Children's rights; Climate change; Emotion; Environmental activism; Participation; Youth activism
Public URL


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