Press Release: Statement by US and Chinese Youth Directed at Our Presidents and President-Elect

 

For Immediate Release

CYCAN and CAC delegates present their joint statement directed to their leaders.

Marrakesh, Morocco-  Dear President Barack Obama, President Xi Jinping, and President-Elect Donald Trump,

Last year the world came together to create the Paris Agreement. Both the United States and China have ratified this agreement. However, we still have a lot to do, and US and Chinese governments are morally as well as legally responsible to do everything in their power to address climate change as soon as possible.  As the two largest global economies and greenhouse gas emitters, our countries have the opportunity to lead the world forward in climate action.

In this statement CYCAN and CAC seek to share a unified vision for what we expect the United States and China to support in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties 22 (UNFCCC COP 22) and beyond, and in doing so, continue to build stronger working relationships between our two countries. We are calling for action from both parties to work on pre-2020 ambitions, adaptation, climate finance and loss & damage. This must be done while promoting and considering “obligations to human rights, the right to health, the rights of indigenous peoples, local communities, migrants, children, persons with disabilities and people in vulnerable situations and the right to development, as well as gender equality, empowerment of women and intergenerational equity.”

The US and China need to share technological resources and provide capacity-building to developing countries in order to provide the tools necessary for countries to adapt to climate change, including addressing impacts to agriculture, coastal cities, and vulnerable populations.  Last September, the United States reaffirmed its $3 billion pledge to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and China announced that it would make available 20 billion Renminbi for setting up the China South-South Climate Cooperation Fund to support other developing countries to combat climate change.

We call on the United States and China to provide a clear pathway to providing finance to developing countries to actualize their NDCs. China and the United States should support developing countries to assist with these climate impacts. Both countries should provide assistance when called upon by the global community.

As the representatives of youth in China and the United States, we demand our countries act proactively on climate change now. They must be ambitious, provide finance, support countries facing loss and damage, and help people adapt to climatic changes that are already happening.

CYCAN

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Press Conference Speakers:

Jing Liu, CYCAN

Kongrui Li, CYCAN

Nicholas Jones, Care About Climate

Sarah Voska, Care About Climate

To watch our Press Conference, you can view it on the UNFCCC Stream HERE.

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. (December, 2015). Paris Agreement.   

US-China Joint Presidential Statement on Climate Change. (September, 2015). White House

 

The Green Climate Fund Needs to Happen -and a Funding Solution is Offered

The Green Climate Fund is a fund that helps support mitigation and adaptation projects in developing countries. In 2010 countries pledged to provide $100 billion dollars by 2020. Starting today the Green Climate Fund board will start allocating funding to projects around the world according to Reuters UK. This fund is critical to getting resources on the ground to act on climate, but will all the resources be there? Don Bayles tells us more. 

By Don Bayles 
Among the more disturbing aspects of climate change is the amount of havoc done upon the most vulnerable by the most developed. Those in Yemen are now contemplating the reality of eight years’ worth of rain in one monstrous storm. These people have done little, virtually nothing, to contribute to the extraordinary danger they’re facing (as this blog is being written).
The carbon emissions of Yemen are minimal. The United States, however, has contributed approximately 27% of the human generated greenhouse gas inventory within the atmosphere. Per person, no country stands on par with the US. But climate researchers tell us that those within Sub-Sahara Africa and Small Island Land Developing States (SIDS) stand to suffer hugely as climate change impacts grow. For example, those in the Philippines have contributed less than 1 per cent of the carbon in the atmosphere. Yet they will suffer disproportionately as more super typhoons hit their coasts and flood their homes. With this disparity in mind, representatives of the nations at COP 20 in Lima last year concluded that a “green fund” was needed. The fund would be collected among developing nations and distributed among the nations which have the most to lose from climate change. One hundred billion dollars has been identified as a goal. But will the fund actually be collected? And if so when? And who will be funding it? Will there be money for those in need?

President Obama seeks to participate fully in Paris. But given the restraints imposed by a contrary Congress, there are good reasons to doubt whether the United States will be able to set an example for the world by paying its fair share to the fund. And while the President may be able to find a small measure of funding from contingency sources, it is unlikely that a substantial American payment will be available in the absence of congressional approval. And if the USA balks, other developed nations may follow. And what are vulnerable countries to do?

Solutions for meeting the green fund challenge have not been advanced in abundance. A French source recently suggested that without the Green Fund, there can be no agreement. It is expected that representatives from developed nations will bring their most innovative thinkers to the challenge. But there must be an answer and as of today, the substance of that answer remains unclear.

Let’s realize we are all in this together. Are there any available pools of funds? The instinctive answer is no. One suggestion is offered here: Most every developed nation has a defense budget. These financial pools are especially substantial among the Americans, Russians and Chinese. What if we developed nations all collectively agreed to reduce the amount of our defense expenditures by 10 per cent? And at the same time, we could offer the bulk of those savings to those already being hammered by climate change –but who contributed virtually nothing to the formation of the problem. A portion of the ten percent defense savings could also be dedicated to each nation’s establishment of a renewable energy infrastructure. With all respect, doesn’t this make sense?

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Top five countries by military expenditure in 2014.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.[1]

 

The funding could form a viable green fund. (See chart above). No one will be disadvantaged as we are all agreeing to the same proportionate reduction. All will benefit as we mitigate impacts and perhaps also use a part of the ten percent (another 2 percent?) for adaptation investments in renewable energy infrastructure. The establishment of a real green fund would be prioritized, developing nations would gain assistance and infrastructure investment within the global economy would bring jobs and clean energy. With the U.S. working alongside its historical opponents, perhaps something bigger could emerge here. At a time when there has never been a more compelling justification for international cooperation, maybe this is a plan worth considering.