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2040: The Power of Thinking Positively in Youth Activism

Over the last two decades, we have learnt more and more about the impact we are having on our changing climate, and in the UK we have become increasingly aware of climate change and the issues it will create for us in just a few years time. The climate crisis conversation is often shrouded in doom and gloom – and with reports that only 100 companies are responsible for 71% of global emissions, it’s easy to become disillusioned. That’s why filmmaker Damon Gameau focuses on solutions we already have: in his documentary 2040,  he explores the ways people all over the world are building a better future. At Together Films, we are delighted to be bringing 2040’s positive message to schools and universities across the UK and US – but why is this so important in today’s world?

Only 100 companies are responsible for 71% of global emissions. Picture credit:

Unlike many policy makers, prime ministers and presidents, young people have absorbed  the damning message about climate change all their lives and are aware they are likely to feel its effects in their lifetimes. If the global temperature rises by just 1.5 degrees celsius this will dramatically affect most of the world’s ecosystems, and this is due to happen by 2030

This is likely why young people have been so active in the fight for climate action. Over 4 million young people marched in the Global Climate Strikes in September 2019, and youth activists like Greta Thurnberg have made waves across the globe. In the UK, young people are taking a stand – Noga Levy-Rapoport, (19), is leading the fight for climate education, and sisters Ella and Caitlin McEwan  (aged 9 and 7) led a successful campaign to ban plastic toys in children’s restaurant meals.

Climate activist Greta Thunberg has been protesting climate change since she was 15 – here she leads a crowd of young people in March, 2019. Picture credit: Tobias Schwartz, Getty Images

It’s not just a fight born out of doing the right thing – young people’s fear of climate change is tangible. In a 2020 poll by BBC Newsround of two thousand 16 year olds, 73% said they were worried about the state of the planet, and 58% said they were worried about the impact climate change would have on their futures. 

The media storm of negative news around climate change makes stories of hope so important. Although protests to save our planet, push  governments into taking action; the pressure of saving our planet cannot live in the minds of young people 24/7. Sometimes, a positive reminder of how far we’ve come, or a realistic plan of what we can do, can help to put things into perspective. 

With the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 taking place in Glasgow in November 2021, now is the time to learn about solutions, and amplify young peoples’ voices. The film 2040is an inspiring resource discussing the solutions to cutting our emissions and finding more sustainable ways of living that already exist. We need to continue thinking positively about solutions, both for the sake of our planet and for the young people who will inherit it. 

This Earth Day you can request a screening of 2040 at your school, or with World Environment Day coming up on June 5th, this could be a perfect opportunity to show 2040 at your school.

2040 is now available for both non-theatrical and educational screenings. If you would like to host a screening, email us at, or if you are a school, you can purchase a year long educational licence ands gain access to over 30 educational resources and lesson plans here:

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Together Films are a marketing, distribution, and technology company based in London & NYC serving the international film community.

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