United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Major Group: Children & Youth

Youth Statement at IPM- CSD15 interactive dialogue on climate change
JH
Obrigado Senhor Presidente,
Global climate change is the most pressing issue of our generation. We need policy solutions
encompassing multiple sectors, cooperation beyond short-term political maneuvering, and
immediate action to curb and reverse the harmful trends that contribute to climate change.
Some developing nations are rapidly becoming major contributors of GHG. Providing access to
environment-friendly technologies through leapfrogging is vital to ensuring that developing
countries are involved in combating climate change following the common but differentiated
responsibilities principles. Current mechanisms for technology transfer, such as the CDM, must be
improved to mitigate climate change while promoting sustainable development. This Commission,
formed by many of members of the UNFCCC, should recommend the greening of the CDM.
There has been some good news, we have heard of developing countries ready to take substantial
efforts to mitigate climate change, for example the framework for carbon neutrality mentioned
yesterday. For such efforts to continue, financial support of developed counties is crucial.
Commission could facilitate the creation of meaningful means to transfer technology to foster the
deployment of renewable energy and provide recommendations that will promote the realization of
the UNFCCC targets. In 2005, youth from around the world adopted the International Youth
Declaration, asking for emissions reduction targets of 30 per cent by 2020 and 80 per cent by 2050
for developed nations. Since then, youth from around the world gathered in Canada in 2005 and
Kenya in 2006, parallel to the meetings of the UNFCCC, to create regional coalitions to work
under the vision of the declaration. In the region of North America, for example, we have been
working as a network to reduce emissions in educational institutions, with now more than 500
institutions committed to 100% clean energy. We do so believing that sustainable production must
be matched by sustainable consumption.
Mr. Chair, we understand that decreasing the use of fossil fuels will take decades, but we cannot use
that as an excuse to continue business as usual practices. Subsidies supporting dirty energy must be
phase-out. Some technologies, such CCS, can be interim solutions to mitigate climate change. But,
preventive strategies, such as the development and use of renewable energy, are the priority for
sustainable development. A truly diversified energy portfolio, with targets and timelines, is a first
step.
We believe that solutions to climate change must be consistent with principles of environmental
justice. Poor, vulnerable communities, the least responsible groups for the state of our atmosphere,
are suffering the consequences of the fuels burned for the comfort of a few. Following the
principles of the Rio Declaration, we need to change the paradigm of pollution cost.
Finally, listening to the statements made yesterday afternoon, we feel it is still necessary to stress
that, if we do not develop adaptation strategies to protect vulnerable communities, all efforts made
to achieve the MDGs will be lost. We need to ensure that no only coastal communities, but also
other vulnerable groups, have options to protect themselves against climate change. Judging from
current pace to mitigating climate change, we believe that adaptation needs urgent attention.
Children and youth depend on the success of these strategies, and we trust that the Commission
will act urgently on this matter.
Thank you very much.