Youth seek participation in next UN climate talks

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Katowice (Poland), Dec 14 (IANS) As the crucial multilateral UN climate negotiations by 197 nations draw closer to their finale, the youth on Friday demanded participation in the next year’s climate talks.

On the last day of the two-week-long the UN Climate Change Conference (COP24) in Katowice, the youth said that they comprised 25 per cent of the global population and hence they must be part of the next climate negotiations for determining their future.

The Parties to the UN Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) were set to adopt a “rulebook” for the Paris Agreement, which will outline the governing framework and mechanisms for full implementation of the 2015 climate pact.

“Youth must be part of the negotiations determining our future and the future of our precious planet. This is why I am launching an international petition to demand that each country includes at least two young people, aged 16-25, on their negotiating delegations starting at COP25, and beyond,” said an activist with NGO Saving Our Planet.

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The petition urged the UNFCCC to institute a mandate that all state delegations must include at least two young people on their negotiation delegations to COP25 and all climate conferences in the future.

Canadian university student Joelle Moses said the COP conferences had been going on for 24 years but global emissions had not decreased.

“Over and over again, our political leaders profess the need for increased ambition, while neglecting to take the action they call for, and that they promised under the Paris agreement.”

Inspired by 15-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, hundreds of school and university students were on strike on Friday across the Europe to stand up for climate justice and demand action.

Thunberg in her address at the UN plenary here condemned global inaction in the face of catastrophic climate change.

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The host city of Katowice is in the centre of Silesia, a region home to about 90,000 coal workers.

Activists blame Poland for promoting coal interests and turning a blind eye to the need to ramp up climate pledges by 2020.

(Vishal Gulati is in Katowice at the invitation of Climate Trends to cover the 24th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, known as COP24. He can be contacted at [email protected])

–IANS

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