Ridhima Pandey (born 2008)[1] is an Indian environmental activist who advocates for action against climate change. She has been likened to Greta Thunberg.[2] When she was nine years old, she filed a suit against the Indian government for not taking enough steps to combat climate change.[3] She also was one of the complainants to the United Nations, along with several other young climate activists, against several nations' failure to take action against the climate crisis.[4]

Ridhima Pandey
Born2008 (age 15–16)
Known forEnvironmental activism
AwardsMother Teresa Memorial Award for Social Justice



Pandey lives in Haridwar,[5]Uttarakhand, a state in the North of India. She is a daughter of Dinesh Chandra Pandey who works in Wildlife Trust India who is an environmentalist and has worked in Uttarakhand in this capacity for 16 years and her mother is Vinita Pandey who works for Forest Department for Uttarakhand.[6][3]

Her interest in climate change started when Pandey's home of Uttarakhand has been affected by severe weather over the past three years and in 2013, over 1000 people died in cause of floods and landslides.[7] Almost 100,000 people had to be evacuated from the region.[8] According to World Bank, climate change is likely to increase pressure on the water supply in India.[9]

Climate activism


At age nine, Pandey filed a lawsuit against the Indian Government on the basis that they had not taken the significant steps against climate change that they had agreed to in the Paris Agreement. This court case was presented in the National Green Tribunal (NGT), a court which was established in 2010 that deals solely with environmental cases. Pandey also asked the Government to prepare a plan to reduce carbon emissions and a nationwide plan to curb the impact of climate change, including reducing India's use of fossil fuels.[3]

In an interview with The Independent. Pandey states:

My Government has failed to take steps to regulate and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which are causing extreme climate conditions. This will impact both me and future generations. My country has huge potential to reduce the use of fossil fuels, and because of the Government's inaction I approached the National Green Tribunal.[3]

The NGT dismissed her petition, stating that it was 'covered under the environment pact assessment'.[2]

Complaint to the United Nations


During her application for a Norwegian visa to go to Oslo, she heard about an organization for young climate activists. She approached the organization, and was selected to go to New York for the 2019 United Nations Climate Action summit.[10] During the summit, on 23 September 2019. Pandey with 15 other children, including Greta Thunberg, Ayakha Melithafa and Alexandria Villaseñor, filed a complaint to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, accusing Argentina, Brazil, Germany, France and Turkey to violate the Convention on the Rights of the Child by failing to address the climate crisis adequately.[11][4]

She also join with Thunberg again when she was with other 13 children from around the word send a legal petition to Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres to declare climate crisis as global level 3 emergency on 2021.[12]

Further activism


In September 2019, Pandey led a climate strike under the FridaysForFuture in Dehradun and also became a speaker for Xynteo Exchange at the same month in Norway with Ella Marie Hætta Isaksen.[13] Pandey came back dealing with Indian government when she make an appeal to Narendra Modi to stop a plan to chop Aarey forest to build a metro car shed project[14]

Pandey has called for a complete ban on plastic, arguing that its continued production is the result of consumer demand. She has also called for the Indian government and local authorities to do more to clean the Ganga River.[2] She said that while the government claims that it is cleaning the river, there hasn't been much change in the condition of the river.[10]

Pandey is quoted on her biography on Children vs Climate Change as stating her aim:

I want to save our future. I want to save the future of all the children and all people of future generations.[11]



Pandey was on the list of the BBC's 100 Women announced on 23 November 2020.[15] She also get an Mother Teresa Memorial Award for Social Justice on 16 December 2021 in New Delhi.[16]

See also



  1. ^ "National Youth Day 2022: Honouring the Young Activists of India". The CSR Journal. 12 January 2022. Retrieved 9 April 2022.
  2. ^ a b c "Who Is Ridhima Pandey". Business Standard India. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d "Meet the nine-year-old girl who is suing the Indian Government over climate change". The Independent. 1 April 2017. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  4. ^ a b "earthjustice.org". 23 September 2019. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
  5. ^ "Community Archives". Alliance Center. Retrieved 9 April 2022.
  6. ^ "Ridhima Pandey". xynteo.com. Retrieved 9 April 2022.
  7. ^ "India's death toll in aftermath of floods reaches 1,000". The Guardian. Associated Press. 24 June 2013. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  8. ^ "Many still stranded in India floods". BBC News. 28 June 2013. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  9. ^ "India: Climate Change Impacts". World Bank. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  10. ^ a b "India's Greta Thunberg: All about 11-year-old climate activist Ridhima Pandey". India Today. 27 September 2019. Retrieved 20 April 2021. {{cite magazine}}: Unknown parameter |agency= ignored (help)
  11. ^ a b "#ChildrenVsClimateCrisis". childrenvsclimatecrisis.org. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  12. ^ "Youth activists petition UN to declare 'systemwide climate emergency'". the Guardian. 10 November 2021. Retrieved 9 April 2022.
  13. ^ Ghosh, Sahana. "11-Year-Old Holds Governments Accountable for Inaction on Climate Change". The Wire. Retrieved 9 April 2022.
  14. ^ Ghosh, Niharika (10 January 2020). "Riddhima Pandey - The 11 Year Old At The Forefront Of Climate Activism In India". homegrown.co.in. Retrieved 9 April 2022.
  15. ^ "BBC 100 Women 2020: Who is on the list this year?". BBC News. 23 November 2020. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  16. ^ "Padma Bhusan Anil Prakash Joshi, 2 others win Mother Teresa Memorial Award". The Indian Express. 16 December 2021. Retrieved 9 April 2022.