Greater Sudbury teen Sophia Mathur is one of 25 young environmental activists from across the globe honored by Action For Nature (AFN) as a 2021 International Young Eco-Hero.
The award recognizes eco-conscious youth ages eight to 16 who are taking crucial steps to solve tough environmental problems.
Winners of the International Young Eco-Hero Award are selected by a panel of independent judges, including experts in environmental science, biology, and education.
Since 2003, Action For Nature has recognized more than 300 Eco-Heroes from over 30 countries and 25 U.S. states.
Sophia, who is 14, won the Climate Change Activist award in the 8-14 year-old category.
Inspired by her family, Sophia began lobbying politicians on environmental issues at age seven. She has successfully lobbied the City of Greater Sudbury to declare a climate emergency, urged Canadian Ministers to adopt carbon pricing, and lobbied her MP, Paul Lefebvre, for border carbon adjustments.
Currently, Sophia is the lead youth plaintiff in an Ecojustice lawsuit against the Ontario government for weakening Ontario's 2030 climate target.
And during the COVID-19 pandemic she has hosted virtual events with MPs, MPPs, Senators and has asked Prime Minister Trudeau and Deputy PM Chrystia Freeland direct questions about their climate plans.
“Kids like Sophia have shown that the next generation of leaders is here, and they are refusing to wait to solve the world’s most pressing environmental challenges,” said Beryl Kay, president of Action For Nature, an international non-profit organization that encourages young people to nurture a love and respect for the Earth and to take personal action to improve the environment. “The work of these young people will not only have real, positive impacts on their communities, they will also help solve global climate challenges and inspire others – no matter what age – to consider what they can do to help.”
“My goal is to create the political will to enact science-based policies to solve the climate crises,” said Sophia. “I ask that politicians listen to the experts and cooperate to protect the future of this amazing planet.”
To read more about Sophia’s work, visit facebook.com/FFFGreaterSudbury.To learn more about this year’s International Young Eco-Hero Award winners, visit actionfornature.org/eco-hero-awards/2021-awards.