United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Major Group: Children & Youth

Open Working Group 5: Energy
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Thank you,
My name is Surya and I have just returned from the United Nations Climate Change negotiations
in Warsaw. Being at COP and then coming directly to this Open Working Group Meeting has
opened my eyes to the reality of the political obstacles we face in the realm of climate change.
Far too many governments and influential players in the private sector have rallied behind a
position that will certainly undermine our future.
Our actions here today have consequences. They will dictate the future course of human history,
and have an impact on the very viability of the earth as a source of life. Climate science has
allowed us to glimpse at possible future scenarios, some of course more dire than others, yet,
our inaction continues to add greater uncertainty as to what happens next. How will the world
look in a 4 degree temperature increase scenario?
In Warsaw, the Japanese government announced its new greenhouse gas emissions target for
2020 vowing to cut emissions by 3.8 percent from its 2005 level. This translates to an increase
of 3.1 per cent from its 1990 levels. With leadership like this from countries that have historically
emitted more than their fair share of greenhouse gases; is there any hope that places like the
Philippines will not experience more frequent and more devastating typhoons? Typhoon Haiyan
alone resulted in the death of more than 5500 Filipinos so far and the destruction caused by the
Typhoon must still be fully assessed.
The UN identified thirteen countries, with economies among the top twenty in the world account
for 72% of global emissions of which their energy sectors is a major contributor. We need
leadership to transition from a growthfocused
economy, one that obsesses over profit at the
expense of the earth, to a just, equitable, and sustainable economy with a world dependent on
sustainable energy. An economy which facilitates greater natural resource conservation and
management. Simply put, fossil fuels, coal and nuclear energy are not sustainable.
Therefore, the Major Group for Children and Youth urges:
● That the upper limit on per capita consumption is fixed, which is especially
important for developed countries;
● That developed countries take the lead in benchmarking best management
practices and subsequently facilitate universal adoption, through technology
transfer and appropriate intellectual property policies;
Open Working Group 5: Energy
● That countries be careful in developing Hydropower. It may be an inexpensive
energy source but it comes at the cost of precious ecosystems and irreversibly affects
the lives and livelihoods of displaced individuals, many of whom are among the most
● That energy be universally accessible, and at the same time, governments do
more to inculcate sustainable consumption habits among their populations.
Thank you.