The Global Search for Education: Climate Activist Vedaant Thuse Bal Interviews Brazilian Leader Paloma Costa Oliveira

C. M. Rubin
4 min readMay 4, 2023


This month, the Planet Classroom Network presents Net Zero Speaks With Paloma Costa. This program is curated by the Protect Our Planet Movement and Planet Classroom.

In this episode of Net Zero, climate activist Vedaant Thuse Bal speaks with Paloma Costa Oliveira, a prominent climate leader from Brazil. Together, they explore effective strategies for protecting the Amazon Rainforest and the important role of indigenous peoples in promoting sustainability. Costa also shares insights on how to incentivize global leaders to prioritise the protection of environmental and cultural sites. She emphasises the importance of creating partnerships with local communities and addressing social and economic issues as part of any climate action plan. Finally, Costa Oliveira provides additional points for the Net Zero audience to consider, including the importance of education and the role of individual actions in creating a more sustainable future.

The Global Search for Education is pleased to welcome Vedaant Thuse Bal.

Vedaant, why did you select Paloma for the Net Zero series?

There are many individuals in the climate space, but there are few that bring together worlds like Paloma Costa. She’s certainly been at the forefront of climate change regulation, as evidenced by her various accolades and appearances. She is one of a few youth climate ambassadors appointed by the United Nations. She has spoken at a Climate Action Summit, and discussed global issues with world leaders.

Yet, her most important work might be that which is thankless and unrecognised. While faced ahead, with one eye in the rearview mirror, she has helped us understand and protect our past. By defending our collective culture, she ensures that we retain the positive parts of the legacy our ancestors have left. Her work means that the future has the potential to be the best of the past and the present.

What surprised you most about your interview?

There is a vast population of individuals whose ability to protect themselves is severely limited. They also tend to be those that are most affected. Paloma Costa’s experience is primarily with the tribes of the Amazon Rainforest, and her description of their difficulties is quite apt. Indirectly, they deal with the consequences of issues that they have no control over. Both cultures and environments deteriorate through this process, as exposure to the outside world and climate change damage their society as a whole. This isn’t an experience exclusive to the Amazonians; while theirs is more extreme than most cases, many groups are consistently disadvantaged when fighting for their climate rights. When we face falling prey to indifference, it is important for us to have the power to create change to act. Otherwise, borrowing from German Theologist Martin Niemoller, when our time comes, “there [will be] no one to speak out for [us]”.

And finally how would you describe your 3 main takeaways for the Net Zero audience from your interview?

The structure of the world is in constant flux, but especially so in the 21st century with global climate change. These effects will ripple outwards into cultures, economies, and geopolitics, changing society as a whole. However, at its core, it is people who are the changemakers. As the earth is handed to a younger generation that must inherit the consequences of their forefathers’ actions, they must similarly be handed the reins to make the world a better place for the circumstances of today. The youth must be given the ability to make change.

As we move towards a better future, we must also not forget that the society we have is built on the foundations of yesterday, and though it is flawed, it is also the bedrock of humanity’s achievements. Learning from the past is, then, essential towards making a sustainable and growing society. And a constant lesson throughout time and applicable everywhere, the powerful must fight for everyone’s rights, or risk creating an indifferent society; which will not protect the powerful when they become weak.

Thank you Vedaant!

C.M. Rubin and Vedaant Thuse Bal

Don’t miss Net Zero Speaks with Paloma Costa, now streaming on the Planet Classroom Network. This film is curated for the Planet Classroom Network by the Protect Our Planet Movement and Planet Classroom.