Climate solutions, changemakers, and celebrities: major UN podcast series launched

The UN has launched No Denying It, a new 10-part climate action podcast, featuring interviews with inspiring young activists, and the voices of internationally renowned celebrities, such as actors Ed Norton and Michelle Yeoh.

Across the world, young people are refusing to accept the state of the climate, and are fighting to make the planet a better place for them, their families and their communities. 

However, their stories tend to be overshadowed by the stream of worrying, and sometimes overwhelming, news surrounding climate change, and the real, immediate, dangers it presents to life in this planet.

Young activists transforming their communities

Nzambi Matee is a materials engineer and head of Gjenge Makers, which produces sustainable low-cost construction materials made of recycled plastic waste and sand.
Young Kenyan entrepreneur Nzambi Matee, whose company produces sustainable low-cost construction materials made of recycled plastic, features on No Denying It UN News/Grece Kaneiya

All the more reason to highlight the fact that, whilst governments and big business need to fundamentally overhaul the global economy, we all have the power to make positive changes to our communities, and influence others to do something similar: seemingly small projects can have big impacts.

The activists, engineers and entrepreneurs featured in this series range from a young woman engineer in Kenya using waste to make low-cost building materials, to a social entrepreneur who has built a network for young climate leaders in South America, and the founder of the first fishing school in Greece, training fishermen to collect plastic from the sea.

Each, in their own way, is working on initiatives that could be replicated in other countries and regions, helping to solve some of the big environmental problems facing the planet, such as pollution, waste, water shortages and, of course, fossil fuel use.

The title of the series reflects the fact that so-called “climate change deniers” have lost the argument: the fact of man-made climate simply cannot be denied any longer. There really is no denying it – we have to tackle the climate emergency. Burning fossil fuels to get energy has to end. It’s doable but it’s going to take solutions in every industry, at every scale, in every nation in the world.

Supporting star-power

Actor and UNDP Goodwill Ambassador, Michelle Yeoh (file)
Actor and UNDP Goodwill Ambassador, Michelle Yeoh (file), by UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Every episode of No Denying is narrated by a high-profile celebrity, many of whom are UN Goodwill Ambassadors and Messengers of Peace.

They include the actor Michelle Yeoh, who features in the forthcoming Marvel Studios movie Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and is best known for roles in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and the Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies

Ms. Yeoh has been associated with the United Nations for several years, as a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Development Programme, where she focuses on empowering the most vulnerable, including women, those living in poverty and those facing disasters and crises.

The first episode, released on 26 August, featured an interview with Chief Dana Tizya-Tramm, elected chief of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, based in Old Crow, Canada.

Mr. Tizya-Tramm is helping Arctic communities to move away from polluting fossil fuels, and become more sustainable, using renewable sources such as solar power. This episode is narrated by Ezra Miller, star of the Fantastic Beasts films, and the forthcoming Flash movie.

You can find more information about No Denying It, as well as all episodes, here. You can also find the series wherever you get your podcasts.

The 10 episodes of the series, which is produced by UN News and Good To Do Today, an independent podcast production company, will be released every Thursday, it began on 26 August and ends on 28 October, on the eve of the COP26 UN climate conference in Glasgow, billed as a crucial step towards a more sustainable world.

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