At every COP meeting, constituencies have the opportunity to address opening and closing plenaries through interventions. The closing of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice closed today at COP22, and a member of our COP22 delegation, Jenna Farineau, gave the speech on behalf of the UNFCCC youth constituency (special thanks and shoutout to all the people who worked on the intervention behind the scenes: Laura Berry, Caroline Jeanmaire, Amalie Cordes, and Jenna Farineau).
You can watch her speech here at 1:13:00 and find the transcript below.
“Thank you Chair.
My name is Jenna Farineau, I am 20 years old and I speak on behalf of a coalition of youth from the Global North and Global South working together in solidarity through YOUNGO.
I speak to remind the SBSTA of what is at stake if you are unable to facilitate serious action beyond the commitments made in Paris. Currently, we are on track for a world that is unsustainable, inequitable, and unlivable.
We, as youth, are disappointed.
This past week, you have only made procedural conclusions which lack substance and the precise planning needed to increase pre 2020 ambition to limit warming to 1.5. Communities on the frontlines cannot wait four years and substance within these negotiations cannot wait four years. Next May, we hope you will seriously consider the following:
Financing for loss and damage must be kept separate from mitigation and adaptation and ambition must go beyond the pledged 100 billion. The Warsaw International Mechanism needs to be strengthened to ensure strong action on issues related to displacement.
Accounting in the land sector needs to be land-based and significantly more comprehensive; baselines need to come from historical data and emissions and removals must be accounted for separately.
Development projects such as carbon capture and storage must be approached critically — considering their non-permanence and potentially destructive ecological and social impacts.
Additionally, SBSTA needs to go forward with a work programme to tackle agriculture in order to reduce emissions and achieve food sovereignty — which should replace the term “food security” in discussions, as it more accurately addresses the root issues of poverty and inequality.
Immediate and dedicated action through non-market approaches will deliver the needed transformation to our social and economic policies. It is imperative that Parties cooperate within the UNFCCC to ensure environmental integrity and foster sustainable development with any new market mechanisms.
Finally, in these negotiations, transparency is key. We believe the youth are crucial in ensuring effective, relevant climate solutions.
At COP22, the youth hope that you are not just hearing us, but that you are listening to us. We deserve a say in the future that you will not be living in, but that we will. Open up your spaces, let us engage.”