~Written by YOUNGO and delivered by Joe Perullo
Thank you Madam President. My name is Joe and I am 20 years old.
We the youth will bear the consequences of your decisions in the long term. With the final year of the LCA, the ADP has tremendous responsibility as a final opportunity to create a just and ambitious legal regime to stave off dangerous levels of climate change. We must recognize the huge stakes involved and our massive potential to succeed – but also the potential for failure. We want three guiding principles to inform the successful design of the Durban Platform and ensure a globally accepted and scientifically aligned deal.
First, we remind you that the Durban Platform will produce an outcome under the Convention. While this statement seems obvious, we believe that some parties have forgotten what this truly means. The equitable and timeless principles in the Convention are not negotiable; the world has not changed nearly enough in 20 years. ‘Historical responsibility’, ‘common but differentiated responsibilities’ and ‘respective capabilities’ are not negotiable. The security and stability of our common future has suffered from parties’ lack of loyalty to the Kyoto Protocol and wider fractious negotiations since Bali. Moving forward, let us not undermine the integrity of the Convention itself.
Second, we welcome the fact that this programme is on ‘enhanced action’. But beginning implementation as late as 2020 is highly irresponsible. Developed countries must ensure that global emissions peak by 2015 by cutting their own emissions and providing finance and technology transfer through the existing structures of the LCA and the KP. The full, transparent, and adequate operationalization of agreed upon institutions such as the GCF, the SCCF and LDCF are necessary to enable developing countries to alleviate poverty, develop sustainably, and tackle climate change. Closing the ambition gap, with developed countries taking the lead must be the overarching priority of the Durban platform agenda.
Third, the sound basis for an equitable approach should be rooted in a discussion on per capita emissions and historical carbon debt. National circumstances cannot be used as an excuse to avoid the necessary structural changes to address climate change. Shifting the burden to developing countries with large populations and low levels of wealth is an unfair shirking of rich countries’ obligations. This is the prime reason for the current stalemate. The recent financial crises in developed countries does not mean that you are poor, it means that your economies are poorly structured. You need to wake up and prioritize your obligations towards both your own citizens and the rest of the world.
Our demands for equity go hand-in-hand with our demands for increased ambition.Equity is central to achieving our shared goals—it is a gateway to a fairer, cleaner world. A per capita approach along with predictable and adequate finance are central to equity. An inequitable global deal not based on these principles must never be agreed upon and implemented. Failure risks the greatest inequity for all humanity – surpassing the tipping point to a world ravaged by climate change.