Voices of young climate action activists ‘give me hope’ says UN chief

UNFCCC Youth attending the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany. Photo/UNFCCC

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


In the wake of Friday’s demonstrations by schoolchildren across the world against climate change inaction, the UN Secretary-General has said he understands their fears, but is hopeful for the future.

In a direct message to the youth activists who took to the streets, UN chief António Guterres said that he understood the anxiety and “fear for the future” behind their actions but added that “humankind is capable of enormous achievements. Your voices give me hope.”

Writing in an opinion piece for The Guardian, Mr. Guterres said that the more he witnessed the “commitment and activism” of young people who were fed up with the pace of the international response to global warming, “the more confident I am that we will win. Together, with your help and thanks to your efforts, we can and must beat this threat and create a cleaner, safer, greener world for everyone,” he added.

“These schoolchildren have grasped something that seems to elude many of their elders”, he said, adding that “we are in a race for our lives, and we are losing. The window of opportunity is closing; we no longer have the luxury of time, and climate delay is almost as dangerous as climate denial.”

The Secretary-General acknowledged that his older generation “has failed to respond properly to the dramatic challenge of climate change.  This is deeply felt by young people. No wonder they are angry.”

Global emissions are reaching record levels, and continuing to rise, he said, adding that concentration of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere is the highest it has been in 3 million years.

“The last four years were the four hottest on record, and winter temperatures in the Arctic have risen by 3°C since 1990,” he added, noting also rising sea levels, the death of coral reefs, and a growing threat to human health worldwide, as made clear in the UN’s Global Environmental Outlook, published this week.

The historic 2015 Paris Agreement signed by more than 190 countries to keep global emissions well below 2°C, “itself is meaningless without ambitious action,” said the UN chief.

“That is why I am bringing world leaders together at a Climate Action Summit later this year. I am calling on all leaders to come to New York in September with concrete, realistic plans to enhance their nationally determined contributions by 2020, in line with reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent over the next decade, and to net zero by 2050.”

The latest analysis shows that if we act now, we can reduce carbon emissions within 12 years and limit global warming to 1.5°” said Mr. Guterres. “But if we continue along our current path, the consequences are impossible to predict.”

“Momentum is building:, he added, “people are listening and there is a new determination to unleash the promise of the Paris Agreement. The Climate Summit must be the starting point to build the future we need.”

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Conference on Future of Europe should start “as soon as possible in autumn 2020”

Discovering Europe: Free EU rail pass for 18 year olds

EU to pay a dear price if the next crisis catches Eurozone stagnant and deflationary; dire statistics from Eurostat

Bilbao’s city parks offer brain-training games for the elderly

Why I stopped taking the lift

Water pollution is killing millions of Indians. Here’s how technology and reliable data can change that

UN Forum examines three pillars of 2030 Global Goals

Despite setbacks, ‘political will’ to end Yemen war stronger than ever: top UN envoy

3 campaigns spreading the joy of reading to children at home

Towards a tobacco free India

Here’s how drone delivery will change the face of global logistics

AI can be a game-changer for the world’s forests. Here’s how

Want a sustainable business? Hire in talent

Rohingya cannot become ‘forgotten victims,’ says UN chief urging world to step up support

Venezuela: Competing US, Russia resolutions fail to pass in Security Council

Why embracing human rights will ensure Artificial Intelligence works for all

Why we need a Paris Agreement for nature

UN chief praises Japanese climate resilience, as Typhoon Hagibis cleanup begins

Tackling terrorism: MEPs approve tighter rules on homemade explosives

The Japanese idea of ‘chowa’ – and how Asia can thrive in the future

Companies must focus on resiliency, profitability and sustainability

The relationship between Dengue and the rainfall in Boa Vista, Brazil

3 ways India can tackle its human-waste problem

3 charts that show how attitudes to climate science vary around the world

YOUTH WILL BE A KEY FOCUS IN THE NEXT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

South Sudan: €48.5 million in additional EU humanitarian aid

Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon should be free to earn a living

Fair and Simple Taxation: Commission proposes new package of measures to contribute to Europe’s recovery and growth

Commission presents its response to Antisemitism and a survey showing Antisemitism is on the rise in the EU

Human rights experts call for ‘paradigm shift’ on arbitrary detention in Qatar

The world’s most vulnerable must be protected: WHO briefing

Public Health equality in a trench

COP21 Breaking News: “There is an ecological debt that the world needs to pay back to Africa”, French President Francois Hollande promises 2 Billion euros by 2020 from Paris

DiscoverEU: 15,000 travel passes up for grabs to explore the EU this summer

Here are 10 of the most urgent health challenges we’ll face in the 2020s, according to WHO

Brexit: Is there anybody supporting a non-violent separation?

Why the Greeks forgave Tsipras’ pirouettes around austerity and voted again for SYRIZA

Fair minimum wages: Commission launches second-stage consultation of social partners

EU: Turkey to shelter Syrian refugees and turn other immigrants back in return of €3 billion

On Kristallnacht anniversary, UN chief urges renewed fight against ‘crime’ of anti-Semitism

Rural Bangladesh has already embraced renewable energy. Here’s what the rest of the world can learn

Microsoft’s YouthSpark: a kiss of Life to European Youth from the European Parliament

The Commission favours the cultivation of more GMOs in Europe

The link between migration and technology is not what you think

Q and A: This is how stakeholder capitalism can help heal the planet

The Arctic is having holes stabbed through it at an alarming rate

‘Step backwards’ for Bosnia’s autonomous Serb region as assembly reneges on Srebrenica genocide report

100 years on, UN labour agency mission focussed on growing inequality, says Director-General

Why the 21st century’s biggest health challenge is our shared responsibility

Deal agreed to protect consumers against misleading and unfair practices

EU Commission accuses Germany of obstructing growth and the banking union

The US starts an intense currency war to protect its global standing

Online platforms required by law to be more transparent with EU businesses

Euronest: delivering reforms is the best way forward for EU’s Eastern Partners

The Sting’s Mission

COP21 Breaking News_03 December: Transport Industry Drive for Improved Energy Efficiency and Electro-Mobility to Stem High Growth of Emissions

UN chief reaffirms commitment to untying ‘Gordian knot’ of Middle East conflict and instability

Governments adopt UN global migration pact to help ‘prevent suffering and chaos’

Who will win the AI race? If countries work together, then the answer could be all of us

Commission disburses €8.5 billion under SURE to five Member States

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s