Concern about climate change has gone from being an almost exclusive concern of scientists or the environmental movement to being just another element of the media agenda. Supranational organizations, such as UNESCO (2017), include the fight against climate change as one of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals and propose to integrate new content related to climate change, poverty, and sustainable consumption into the compulsory education curriculum. Murga-Menoyo (2018), argues that environmental justice is intricately linked to social justice because environmental aggression is a form of social aggression, given that it especially impacts the poorest in society.
Environmental education involves educating for citizenship, that is to say, democratic, critical and political participation, with digital media being an ideal environment to promote knowledge, awareness and the environmental participation of young people (Östman, 2014). Communication technologies are a fundamental element in reversing the current political disaffection by exercising digital citizenship (Bode et al., 2014; Couldry et al., 2014; Loader et al., 2014; Rendueles, 2016; Shah et al., 2009; Tai et al., 2020), thus taking advantage of the transformative and empowering potential of the digital environment (Charmaraman, 2013; Heath, 2018; Korson, 2015; Tuzel & Hobbs, 2017). The exercise of participatory citizenship is an aspect to take into account since different authors (Lane & Dal Cin, 2018; Loader et al., 2014; Rodríguez et al., 2016) confirm that the political participation of young people is different from that of adults, presenting patterns of activity such as: a significant decrease in conventional political participation; an increase in unconventional political actions, for example, social network debates, self-information and social criticism; illegal actions such as anti-capitalist rallies; increased protest actions and a greater desire for political information.
Participation in social networks allows young people to influence the construction of meanings (Olmos et al., 2011), and decide and/or qualify the social and political debates that reach the public agenda (Fresno & Daly, 2019; Kahne & Bowyer, 2019). From this perspective, social networks take on the nature of a political actor (Barisione et al., 2019). Their influence on public opinion can translate into votes, protests, pressure on power groups and the like (Dounoucos et al., 2019; Kahne & Bowyer, 2019; Korson, 2015) through what would be a form of distributed citizen participation (Martens & Hobbs, 2015). This possibility of becoming participants and builders, not just observers of the various processes and discussion of public issues, can lead civil society to use social networks and the digital environment to act in the face of inaction or lack of response from governments and their institutions (Theocharis et al., 2017).