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As the climate crisis escalates, young activists are rising up all over the world to demand action against the planet’s most urgent threat. In Hong Kong, 10-year-old Lance Lau has dedicated his every effort to fight to save the planet and has inspired many more to join in and take climate action.
When we first met Lance Lau, we knew we had found our very own Hong Kong ‘Greta.’ His fierce environmental passion, his never-ending dedication to the climate cause and his bravery to be a solo striker when people around him were laughing inspired us like none other. Our original interview with Lance ended up going viral and since then, the youth activist has become the face of the city’s #FridaysForFuture movement and has been featured in countless media outlets and appeared on stages all over, and we couldn’t be more thrilled.
As we head into Earth Day Week 2020 with a virtual celebration of the movement 50th anniversary, we asked Lance to share some fun facts about himself so you can get to know this impressive human a little more intimately. Here are 15 things to know about Lance, from who his role model is to what he wants to do in the future.
1. He has been to the Amazon
Lance has been to the Amazon rainforest! He travelled via a canoe along the river and stayed in rainforest lodges, exploring the Amazon in Ecuador and in Peru.
2. He believes solo striking can be done by everybody
Solo striking is safe, flexible and can be done by absolutely everyone who wants to make a difference by engaging in climate activism, he believes.
3. His role model is Greta Thunberg
His role model is Greta Thunberg, says Lance, because she has the superpower to be “razor-sharp” and stay completely focused on the most important actions to save the planet. She isn’t sidetracked by fame or hatred.
4. Mango is one of Lance’s favourite foods
Besides mango, Lance loves ice-cream! In terms of his favourite condiments, Lance enjoys barbecue sauce and balsamic vinegar.
5. He believes the climate crisis is an opportunity to reflect, rethink & rebuild
Lance believes that the climate crisis is like Covid-19 – it is a great opportunity for humanity to reflect, rethink and rebuild the world anew in the most creative ways in order to protect the environment and survive.
6. When Lance feels down about the climate crisis, he turns to reading
It’s easy to feel bogged down by the climate emergency. When Lance feels this way, he will read a funny book or watch a comedy movie on Netflix.
7. When he grows up, Lance wants to be a green architect
In the future, Lance wants to be a green architect so that he can build eco habitats that works with the environment, not against it. This is because he believes our environment isn’t just the surroundings of a building – it should be seen as a part of buildings, homes and families.
8. Hong Kong’s diverse culture is what he loves most about the city
What he loves most about his home city of Hong Kong is its diverse culture. Lance enjoys being able to find all different food and music cultures around the world intertwined in interesting hybrids and crossovers in Hong Kong.
9. Lance wants to explore countries in Africa
If he could visit anywhere in the world, he would explore the African continent.
10. If he could meet anyone in the world, it would be Greta Thunberg
Lance would most like to meet Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenage climate activist that leads the global #FridaysForFuture student strikes that Lance himself has taken part in, week-in and week-out.
11. Lance loves cartoons by Hayao Miyazaki
Lance enjoys watching Hayao Miyazaki cartoons in his spare time, as well as lots of hilarious talk shows.
12. The Adventures of Tintin are amongst his favourite books
He loves Osamu Tezuka comic books too.
13. Lance plays the saxophone
Lots of people may be surprised to find out that our Lance is a saxophone player. He loves music in general. Another hobby of his? Cycling.
14. For Earth Day, he will celebrate by joining an online discussion on the plight of Hong Kong’s white dolphins
Lance will be celebrating Earth Day 2020 by attending a movie screening about the Hong Kong white dolphins, and will share his thoughts via a virtual meeting. He has also pre-recorded videos with a number of environmental NGOs in hopes to inspire more earth-loving activism from others.
15. The moment Lance decided he would start striking at school was when he realised the severity of the climate crisis
The moment that Lance decided that he was going to begin striking at school was back in December last year, when it was still dangerous for young people to take to the streets due to the social circumstances in Hong Kong. But he realised that climate activism couldn’t wait – it was a climate emergency, and he had to protest immediately.
This story is published as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.
All images courtesy of Lance Lau.