COP21 Breaking News_03 December: Europe’s children urge leaders to commit to climate action at UN Climate Summit in Paris

COP21 Kids PlanetEfforts of 186,830 children presented to UN Climate Secretariat head Christiana Figueres on Young and Future Generations Day 

Frankfurt/Paris, 3 December 2015. This morning, Climate Alliance presented the climate protection efforts of almost 200,000 children spread over 13 countries to UN Climate Secretariat Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres and Ahmad Alhendawi, UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth. The children earned a total of 2,249,609 “green footprints” within the framework of Climate Alliance’s ZOOM campaign by making climate-friendly trips to school, saving energy in their classrooms, eating regional foods and choosing notebooks made with recycled paper. The handover of the footprints along with the children’s wishes and demands for the future marked the official opening of the UN Climate Summit’s Young and Future Generations Day – designated by the Climate Secretariat as a “celebration of youth power and participation at UN climate change conferences.”

Carole Dieschbourg, Luxembourg Minister of Environment, in the company of UN Youth Delegates and representatives of participating ZOOM countries, personally presented the green footprints along with the children’s concrete wishes and demands to Ms Figueres. In so doing, Dieschbourg asked Executive Secretary Figueres to deliver these messages to the delegates of the conference. Especially prominent this year amongst the children’s demands was a sense of urgency in asking the UN Climate Conference delegates in Paris to finally pass a strong agreement. Messages sent by many of the older children highlighted the understanding that they will have to pay for today’s weak regulations, as will their own children in the future.

“These 2.2 million green footprints represent more than just the efforts and the engagement of children in over 1300 schools, kindergartens and other day-care facilities,” stressed Thomas Brose, Executive Director of Climate Alliance. “Together with the children’s wishes, they send a very clear message to the politicians here in Paris: join forces and develop an ambitious plan for us and for our planet.”

Climate Alliance’s ZOOM – Kids on the Move campaign has been helping children learn about sustainability and the climate since 2002 during special activity weeks throughout the school year. Through the campaign, which is open to interested educational facilities in Europe and beyond, children send messages to their communities, work with their teachers to contact their local politicians and express their hopes to international leaders at the annual UN Climate Summits.

This year, children from Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Romania, Sweden and Ukraine called upon politicians at all levels to better fulfil their function as role models by taking action on the climate. One poster made by a kindergarten class in Neumünster, Germany sums it up particularly well with the plea, “Dear Politicians, it’s in your hands. Please don’t destroy our beautiful earth.” With wishes, demands and comments such as, “please keep our rivers clean,” “I would like to have many healthy trees,” “only use your car for long distances,” “polar bears cannot lose their sea ice,” and “we are the future,” the children sent a simple but unified message to politicians: act now to save the climate.

Source: http://www.zoom-kidsforclimate.eu/news.html

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