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European Youth Forum welcomes positive deal on climate change, calls for strong action

15. 12. 2015

The European Youth Forum welcomes this weekend's agreement in Paris on a historic deal to limit climate change but calls on world leaders and governments to now turn their commitments into action to mitigate dangerous climate change.

Young people, as a group who will be most impacted by climate change, have a huge stake in mitigating it. Unfortunately, however, they had no formal seat at the decision making table during the negotiations, and do not feature in the final Agreement. They did though seek to have their voices heard through the COY (Conference of Youth) which took place ahead of each COP conference, aiming to raise awareness, training young people on climate change issues, and creating a youth position on the topic. Young people and youth organisations, including a delegation from the Youth Forum, were also a strong presence at the site of the negotiations to put pressure on governments and negotiators.

Just ahead of the Paris climate change negotiations the European Youth Forum's member organisations agreed a resolution Climate matters: the vision of European Youth for COP21 which, as well as calling for a commitment to cap the increase in global temperature to 2°C, asked that such a commitment shares the responsibility between countries, reduces inequalities and highlights human rights. Unfortunately, both human rights and the principle of intergenerational equity, key calls from the European Youth Forum, did not make it into the core of the agreement.

This deal is just the beginning. The agreement must be acted upon if we are to have any hope of combatting climate change. The Youth Forum now calls for a global transition to a green, carbon neutral and circular economic system, with the full participation of young people, for the sake of our planet, its inhabitants and future generations.

Photo credit: COP PARIS (Creative Commons)