UNICEF has released a new musical anthem on climate change across the airwaves and social media to highlight the impact of climate change and practical actions that everyone can take to mitigate it, with the expectation that an estimated 250,000 people will hear the song.

According to a press release on the new UNICEF-supported climate change anthem, an exciting and innovative hip hop anthem called “Climate” premiered on radios and social media channels across Cambodia on January 22.

It said the infectious anthem is a collaboration between socially conscious rapper Sang Sok Serey, 21-year old climate change campaigner Sonita Chin, and grassroots hip hop NGO Tiny Toones.

“The song was conceived and written after Serey and Sonita were paired as part of UNICEF’s pioneering Generation Future project, which connected youth with ideas for social change to mentors with the experience to help them make it happen,” the press release said.

UNICEF said the aim was to call attention to the global climate crisis and aimed to unite Cambodians in protecting the environment. It will also be played on radio stations around the country, including Phnom Penh and the provinces of Preah Vihear, Siem Reap, Battambang and Pursat, and is expected to reach at least 250,000 people aged 15 to 24.

“A vibrant video will also be launched online, including through UNICEF’s social media channels and YouTube. The aim is to reach a mass audience of urban and rural Cambodians with the song’s message about the impact of climate change and the practical actions everyone can take to reduce that impact,” UNICEF said.

UNICEF representative to Cambodia Foroogh Foyouzat said the release of this song with its powerful message is a great testament to the important role young people are already playing in taking action against climate change.

She said there is no doubt that children and young people will bear the brunt of the climate crisis. They will inherit this planet, so their voices truly matter, she said.

“UNICEF is committed to supporting young people to be heard and take action on climate change, while working with the Royal Government of Cambodia and partners to respond to the crisis at a national level,” she continued.

Sonita said climate change was a global issue that affected all people since they all live on the earth. She was waiting to see people’s reactions and hoped that after listening, more people would get involved in taking climate action.

“I applied for UNICEF’s Generation Future project because I saw it was a great programme to help me develop my ideas on climate action and make a positive impact. I am so excited about this release, my team has put so much effort into this song and video, and all with wonderful support from UNICEF,” she added.

Citing UNICEF’s Children’s Climate Risk Index, the press release said Cambodia is in the top third of countries where children are most vulnerable to climate change. The report, published in 2021, found that Cambodia was the 46th most vulnerable country

According to the press release, in recent years, the Cambodia government has placed a high priority on addressing these challenges, committing itself to the goals of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It has worked with partners including UNICEF on the development of a Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) and in December became one of the first developing countries to agree to the target of achieving carbon neutrality.

The press release continued that UNICEF launched Generation Future in 2021, with the goal of helping young people turn their ideas for social good into real-world initiatives. Many young people chose climate change as the issue they cared most about, and Sonita’s initiative was one of 12 which UNICEF chose to support further, reflecting the organisation’s growing commitment to supporting projects which combat this global challenge.