United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Major Group: Children & Youth (Part 2)

Intervention of Children and Youth at the thematic discussion on Advanced Energy
Technologies, Including Advanced, Clean Technologies for Fossil Fuels
Wednesday May 3, 2006 at the UN Commission on Sustainable Development 14
By: Yochanan Zakai (yochiz@gmail.com)
World Youth Alliance (http://www.worldyouthalliance.org/) and SustainUS
(http://www.sustainus.org)
Good afternoon. Any fuel that produces a significant amount of pollution that has detrimental
impacts on human healt h and increases the amount of carbon in the atmosphere is inherently
dirty technology. Fossil fuels are dirty fuels, no matter how efficient.
Sustainable energy solutions, such as clean energy production, are catalyzed by youth
participation. I would like to highlight the study of St. Olaf College, where youth participation
has fostered clean energy production. On the campus of St. Olaf a 1.6 MW windmill is being
constructed to supply one third of the campuses' energy needs.
At St. Olaf, as well as at schools around the world, students are asking for clean energy and these
requests are making a real difference in supplying the energy needs of schools and educating
students about clean energy sources.
I would like to respond to the concerns of the Representative of Kuwait about wind energy. It
has been shown that the average wind turbine kills three birds a year. I have visited a wind farm
and I found that its noise pollution was also negligible. This is not a significant environmental
damage compared to the millions of humans that suffer as a result of fossil fuel use.
I would also like to speak about carbon sequestration and storage. CCS cannot be used as a
justification for the continuation of a fossil fuel based economy. Vulnerable communities are
impacted by the production of fossil fuels. CCS does not fix this extraction-based problem.
Similarly, environmental and social concerns need to be addressed regarding carbon
sequestration. We are concerned wit h the environmental inequality of sequestration projects that
could disrupt the livelihood of rural communities. We recognize that carbon sequestration offers
options for sustainable development and poverty alleviation. It is important that clear guidelines
be developed to secure the environmental and social integrity of these projects. The Commission
on Sustainable Development should address the concerns and barriers vis-à-vis CSD 15.
In conclusion, the youth of the world recognized that we will be using fossil fuels next year. But
by the time our generation is in charge of things, it doesn't have to be that way. We ask you, the
leaders of today, to leave us with a sustainable world fueled by green power.