BONN, GERMANY– Today is Young and Future Generations day at the United Nations Climate Talks, COP23, and young people from around the world are joining together to call on leaders to step up their commitments to address climate change and keep the planet below 1.5℃ warming.
Recently, the United Nations Environmental Program published the Emissions Gap Report for 2017. The report indicated that with the current country commitments under the Paris Agreement, we are currently on track to reduce emissions by only one-third of what is needed by 2030 in order to remain below the 1.5℃ temperature limit.
“If we do not make a drastic step forward, my hometown in Malaysia will be flooded before any real impact is seen. I don’t want to lose my home and it is not fair that I will. The world leaders must make a significant change to save my home and the homes of millions of others. By the end of COP24 leaders need to step up and make serious commitments,” states climate activist Amalen S. from Malaysia working on Rhizom Art Space for COP23.
Countries need to lead the way in closing this emissions gap for our future. This means that for their 2020 commitments, countries need to significantly increase their ambition to reduce emissions enough in order to ensure a stable global climate. By the end of COP24 in 2018 if countries fail to increase ambition, our future will be filled with even more extreme storms, droughts, fires, and sea level rise. We, as the Youth Constituency of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, call on our countries to step up now and commit to ambitious targets in 2020.
“My future relies on your action. Climate change impacts our agricultural production, and that is what I rely on for my livelihood and access to education. You have the power to make sure my future is secure,” Emmanual Yengi from Care About Climate- Uganda emphasized.