International youth sound the alarm

All the youth attending the talks here in Bangkok gathered for a press conference this afternoon. Below is our press release.

International Youth has declared “No Confidence” in the road to Copenhagen.

Bangkok – A declaration of “No Confidence in the Road to Copenhagen” was announced today by the International Youth Delegation attending the UN climate change talks. The delegation cited the failure of reaching a commitment from developed countries on strong targets, a growing concern that a second commitment period in the Kyoto Protocol will not be secured, and a lack of guarantees for protection of Indigenous peoples’ rights and interests, in its Declaration. The current text of the draft climate deal is so weak and so full of “false solutions” – measures like offsetting that actually make the problem worse – it is currently unacceptable.

“Youth are sounding the alarm. These talks have been polluted by self-interested corporations and countries looking to profit off of our crisis,” said Joshua Kahn Russell from the U.S. and Rainforest Action Network. “We cannot allow rich countries to use U.S. inaction as an excuse to kill the Kyoto Protocol. Our future cannot be held hostage to the politics and interests of the United States or any other single country. We see Copenhagen as a beginning, not an ending. We will not accept a dirty deal.”

One young person from each continent, organizers from an international youth climate movement of hundreds of thousands, addressed those attending the negotiations today.

“My people are experiencing the severe effects of climate change,” said Anil Rimal from Nepalese Youth Climate Action. “This is happening now, not in 2050, and people are losing their lives, homes and livelihoods. We can not afford to delay global action.”

“The youth have been looking to the rich developed countries like in the EU to take a leading role to secure an ambitious climate change deal in Copenhagen,” said Anna Collins from the U.K. Youth Climate Coalition, “They are failing us.”

With less than two weeks of negotiations remaining before the Copenhagen meeting, the pressure is on developed countries to commit to providing finance and at least a 40% reduction in emissions by 2020. “If they do not, we will witness the derailment of this climate deal in Copenhagen,” said Grace Mwarua from Kenya.

Paulina Monforte from the Youth Environmental Network of Yucatan, Mexico continued by saying “any agreement in Copenhagen must include the numbers 1.5 degrees and 350 ppm order to safeguard the survival of all nations peoples.”

“Young people all around the world are working locally and internationally for genuine solutions.” Concluded Gemma Tillack from the Australian Wilderness Society. “We are building a strong civil society and working in our communities and will not give up on a strong and fair climate agreement. We will never give up, because it is our future at risk.”


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