A ‘Youth Declaration on Climate Action’ was presented on Friday, January 31 at the World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS) 2020, the annual flagship event hosted by The Energy & Resources Institute (TERI). The students, speaking on behalf of the global youth, called upon heads of states to acknowledge and act in accordance with priorities that will strengthen climate action, sharing the belief that “global problems are beyond the power of any single entity to tackle”. The Declaration marks the culmination of the “Youth Climate Conclave”, a three-day programme during which 85 selected students participated in awareness building sessions and deliberations to present their views about issues related to climate change.
The event was held in the presence of Dr J.R Bhatt, Adviser - Climate Change, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), Govt. of India; Mr Raimund Magis, Deputy Head, Delegation of the European Union (EU) to India; Mr Atul Bagai, Head of Country Office (India), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); Mr Nitin Desai, Chairman, TERI; and Dr Ajay Mathur, Director General, TERI. The Conclave, held as a side event of WSDS 2020, was organised by the EU, GIZ, TERI, and CEEW as a part of the Strategic Partnership for Implementation of Paris Agreement (SPIPA) project of the European Union with the MoEF&CC as the nodal ministry.
During the Conclave students attended informative sessions on key facts regarding climate change science and impacts, the international negotiation process (UNFCCC, Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement) and the main negotiation issues. The programme also included a one-day simulation of a UNFCCC negotiation where students were divided into 5 negotiation groups through which they discussed challenges and possible solutions to climate change, with a specific focus on the role of the global youth.
The “Youth Declaration on Climate Action” text highlighted the need for younger generations to assume an active role in finding constructive solutions to climate change. This was concretely addressed by pledges that included, “Adopting a sustainable lifestyle to move towards a low carbon economy; stressing the need for the mobilization of youth awareness, education, capacity building and outreach; and promoting innovation, entrepreneurship and R&D as a part of the solution to the problem of climate change”. Inviting all countries to fulfill their commitments to the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement, the declaration emphasised the need to pursue collaboration for realising the green transition, including the identification of priority areas in the field of mitigation and adaptation, promotion of renewable energy, and strengthening of the technological partnership among countries.
At the opening of the Conclave on 29 January 2020, Ms Henriette Faergemann, First Counsellor - Environment, Climate and Energy Counsellor, EU Delegation to India, graced the occasion along with Dr J.R. Bhatt, Dr Livleen K. Kahlon, Associate Director, Environment Education & Awareness, TERI; Dr Arunabha Ghosh, CEO, Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW); and Dr Ashish Chaturvedi, Director-Climate Change, GIZ-India, who also addressed the youth. Ms. Ashwini Singh, First Secretary, Fiji High Commission in New Delhi, spoke to the students about the perspective of the Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Officials and experts from MoEF&CC talked about the perspective of Like-Minded Developing Countries (LMDCs) and G77+China. The Italian Deputy Head of Mission, Mr. Pietro Sferra Carini, presented the Italian initiative related to upcoming COP26.
The Youth Climate Conclave was launched on 4th October 2019, and included a series of activities such as photography and blogging competitions for youth whose winners were awarded alongside the presentation of the Youth Climate Declarations at the World Sustainable Development Summit.
The Youth Declaration on Climate Action can be found here.
Names of the winners
The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) is an independent, multi-dimensional organisation, with capabilities in research, policy, consultancy and implementation. It has pioneered conversations and action in the energy, environment, climate change, and sustainability space for over four decades.
The institute's research and research-based solutions have had a transformative impact on industry and communities. Headquartered in New Delhi, it has regional centres and campuses in Gurugram, Bengaluru, Guwahati, Mumbai, Panaji, and Nainital, supported by a multidisciplinary team of scientists, sociologists, economists and engineers, and state-of-the-art infrastructure.
About the European Union (EU):
The EU has the world's largest economy and its third largest population, after China and India. Though richly diverse, the countries that make up the EU (its 'Member States') are all committed to the same basic values: peace, democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights. They have set up common institutions so that decisions on matters of joint interest can be made democratically at the European level. By creating a frontier-free single market and a single currency (the euro) which has been adopted by 19 Member States, the EU has given a significant boost to trade and employment. It is also at the forefront of policies on sustainability.
EU-India relations: For over 50 years the EU and India have worked together to reduce poverty, prevent disasters, expand trade, and promote joint research in energy, health, agriculture and many other fields of mutual interest. More information at: http://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/india
The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH or GIZ is a German development agency that provides services in the field of international development cooperation. GIZ has over 50 years of experience in a wide variety of areas, including economic development and employment promotion, energy and the environment, and peace and security. The diverse expertise of our federal enterprise is in demand around the globe – from the German Government, European Union institutions, the United Nations, the private sector and governments of other countries. GIZ works with businesses, civil society actors and research institutions, fostering successful interaction between development policy and other policy fields and areas of activity.
The Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) is one of South Asia’s leading not-for-profit policy research institutions. The Council uses data, integrated analysis, and strategic outreach to explain – and change – the use, reuse, and misuse of resources. It prides itself on the independence of its high-quality research, develops partnerships with public and private institutions, and engages with wider public. In 2020, CEEW once again featured extensively across nine categories in the ‘2019 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report’. The Council has also been consistently ranked among the world’s top climate change think tanks. Follow us on Twitter @CEEWIndia for the latest updates.
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