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21 Aug

Young Caribbean climate champions to attend first ever UN Youth Climate Summit

  • 21 August 2019 |

The United Nations announced on 20 August 2019, that 100 outstanding young climate champions chosen from around the world will receive support to participate in the UN Youth Climate Summit on Saturday, 21 September 2019 at the UN Headquarters in New York.

Three Caribbean youth activists - Khadija Usher of Belize, Dainalyn Swaby of Jamaica, and Mareeka Dookie of Trinidad and Tobago – are among the ‘Green Ticket’ winners who will join other climate youth leaders at the first-ever Youth Climate Summit at the UN.

The Summit will provide a platform for these young climate leaders to showcase their solutions on a global stage and engage directly with decision-makers on the defining issue of our time. The outcomes of the Youth Climate Summit will be presented at the 2019 UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit on Monday, 23 September.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres congratulated the ‘Green Ticket’ recipients and all successful applicants in a video message, saying, “I appeal to young people around the world to follow the Summit online and to be drivers of climate action in their own countries.”

 

Young people who are unable to attend in person are encouraged to participate in the My Future Our Planet campaign by sharing a selfie video on Twitter or Instagram declaring what actions they are already taking to fight climate change and asking their leaders to take climate action now. They can also continue to make choices that have less harmful effects on the environment and track these efforts through the UN’s ActNow campaign, and tune into the Youth Climate Summit via livestream on UN Web TV. More ways to engage will be announced in the coming weeks on the UN Youth Climate Summit website (https://www.un.org/en/climatechange/youth-summit.shtml).

The Youth Climate Summit will feature a full-day of programming that brings together young activists, innovators, entrepreneurs, and change-makers who are committed to combating climate change at the pace and scale necessary, as demonstrated by science. It will be action-oriented, intergenerational, and inclusive, with equitable representation of young leaders from all walks of life.

Young people are leading the way on climate action


The Youth Climate Summit is a key milestone ahead of the 2019 Climate Action Summit, which is calling on leaders from government, business and civil society to boost efforts to tackle climate change.

 “Young people are leading the way on climate action,” said the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Jayathma Wickramanayake. “The Secretary-General’s Youth Climate Summit will provide a powerful global platform for young climate leaders from all over the world to take their rightful place and drive positive climate solutions”.

The announcement of the ‘Green Ticket’ call for applications took place in early July in Abu Dhabi, where the Secretary-General convened over 1,700 people – including youth leaders and representatives from over 160 countries around the world. The Secretary-General’s public dialogue with young leaders during his opening ceremony, moderated by the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Jayathma Wickramanayake, is available to view here.

More information on the UN Youth Climate Summit can be found athttps://www.un.org/en/climatechange/youth-summit.shtml.

Follow @UNYouthEnvoy on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for the latest updates on the Youth Climate Summit.

For further information on the 2019 UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit, please visit https://www.un.org/en/climatechange/index.shtml.

 

 

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02 Aug

A dangerously hot climate, simmering political tensions: ‘This is not the summer of our youth,’ UN chief warns

  • 02 August 2019 |

Global warming and rising political tensions are dangerous and avoidable, Secretary-General António Guterres told reporters on Thursday, previewing the UN’s upcoming Climate Action Summit, and spotlighting geopolitical hotspots.

Briefing the press at UN Headquarters in New York, Mr. Guterres noted that, while there have always been hot summers, this is “not the summer of our youth”, but a climate emergency.

Indeed, the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO) shows that 2019 had  the hottest June ever, with records broken from New Delhi to the Arctic Circle.

July is also on course to equal, or surpass the hottest month in recorded history, and 2015 to 2019 are likely to be the five hottest years on record.

“If we do not take action on climate change now”, said Mr. Guterres, “these extreme weather events are just the tip of the iceberg. And that iceberg is also rapidly melting.”

UN Climate Summit: ‘ticket to entry is bold action’

Turning to the Climate Action Summit, slated for 23 September in New York, the UN chief said that the ticket to entry – for governments, business and civil society – is “bold action and much greater ambition”.

This will be needed if the world is to limit temperature increases to 1.5C and avoid the worst impacts of climate change, by cutting 45 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, and achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

“Beautiful speeches”, he continued, are therefore not enough: leaders need to come to New York on September 23 with concrete plans to reach these goals. Mr Guterres said that many solutions are available and are already being implemented.

These include the growing use of technology that is rendering renewable energy cheaper than fossil fuels; the planting of millions of trees to reverse deforestation, and remove carbon dioxide from the environment, the finance world increasingly pricing carbon risks into their decision-making process and calling on leaders to phase out fossil fuel subsidies; and leading businesses are recognizing that, in order to avoid huge losses, now is the time to move from the “grey”, polluting economy, to the green economy.

“We need rapid and deep change in how we do business, generate power, build cities and feed the world.”

Political heat also rising

Mr. Guterres also turned his attention to tensions in global politics, notably in the Persian Gulf, friction between China and the US, and between nuclear-armed states.

A minor miscalculation in the Persian Gulf, he said, could lead to a major confrontation.

Referring to recent incidents in the Strait of Hormuz – which include the diversion of a British-flagged oil tanker by Iran, the US destruction of an Iranian drone, and the UK decision to provide a naval escort for tankers – the UN chief stressed the need to respect the rights and duties related to navigation through the Strait, and its adjacent waters, in accordance with international law.

Concerning China-US relations, Mr. Guterres said that the lessons of the Cold War must be learned, in order to avoid a new one, in which two competing blocs emerge, each with their own dominant currency, trade rules, and contradictory geopolitical and military rules.

“With leadership committed to strategic cooperation and to managing competing interests”, he said, “we can steer the world onto a safer path”.

The imminent end of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty – described by the Secretary-General as a “landmark agreement that helped stabilize Europe and end the Cold War”, means that the world will lose an “invaluable brake” on nuclear war.

States with nuclear arms capacity should, he continued, avoid destabilizing developments, and urgently seek a new path towards new international arms control measures. These include an extension of the so-called “New Start” agreement between the US and Russia; the 2020 Review of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

 

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