Climate change is widely accepted as the one of the greatest challenges facing human kind and the earth on which we exist. From biodiversity and natural resource management, to health, education and equality, global climate change is not only making the current problems we face worse, but is creating new challenges for mankind.
Young people around the world face a complex and ever increasing set of pressures. Already, in today’s world, insufficient access to basic food, education, healthcare and jobs with adequate working conditions and remuneration are great barriers to leading a healthy, secure and happy life. Climate change does, and will continue to, greatly exacerbate these pressures, and this will continue to get worse as today’s youth become tomorrow’s adults and the worst impacts of climate change begin to be felt.
We, the Global Changemakers representatives at the WCC‐3 would like to commend the foresight of the WMO in inviting a youth delegation to highlight the interests and plights of young people around the world, and for allowing those who will be affected by what has been discussed here to have a part in the shaping of their futures. The problems and solutions discussed at this conference will be put in place in order to protect the planet that we have. As the world looks to put in place legally binding emission reduction targets with time frames which we will live to see, we commend the move from ‘solutions for future generations’ to ‘solutions for now’.
We wish to applaud the hard work of the WMO in creating an arena where the voice of the often voiceless service users are highlighted, listened to, and acted upon. It is only through this convergence of the expert knowledge shown here, and the understanding of the needs of people on the ground – whether rich or poor – that climate change will be effectively mitigated and adapted to.
The Global Changemakers call upon the participants of the high level segment, environment ministers, heads of state, and all other decision makers to commit to, and deliver, the ambitious and challenging emission reductions and adaptation mechanisms that are needed at all levels to secure our future health, happiness, and indeed lives.
In line with the outcomes of this conference, we further urge countries to make readily available climate information and adaptation resources in order to aid the ability of the most vulnerable to cope with the effects of climate change.
Having been given the opportunity to positively contribute to decisions which affect our lives we would like to strongly encourage further serious and meaningful youth participation in future conferences, discussion and negotiations. Examples of good practice include the youth delegations to the WCC‐3 and to the COP‐15 negotiations in Copenhagen in December. We also applaud the work of organizations, such as the Global Humanitarian Forum (GHF), who already work to highlight the ideas and innovations of young people.
The Global Changemakers delegation also encourages the recognition of the role that youth have to play in the processes of gathering and disseminating information, creating awareness and influencing people’s behaviour, and as such the important role that young people have as actors in climate adaption and mitigation.
Finally, we would like to thank the British Council for bringing together and making possible the delegation from Colombia, Canada, Ethiopia, Kuwait, and the UK. […]
Amare Abebaw Woreta, Ethiopia
Yara Al‐Wazir, Kuwait
C arolina Figueroa, Colombia
E llie Hopkins, United K ingdom
David Lawless, Canada
This declaration is written by the five representatives of the Global Changemakers that Media21 journalists group met on tuesday 1st of September.