SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt—Ahead of Youth and Future Generations Day at COP27 young people urge world leaders attending COP27 to scale up financial support for communities, including women, children, and young people who are particularly vulnerable to the harsh reality of extreme climate disasters.
As the impact of climate change intensifies, centering young people in the national and global discourse on climate change is critical to ensuring that young people are no longer excluded from decision-making and are not shut out from the debate.
With a global estimate of 1.8 billion young people* aged 10 -24, this generation of youth is the largest in history. ActionAid calls on governments to champion and support young climate activists as valuable agents of climate change.
Young people, particularly those in the Global South, are disproportionately affected by climate change. As a result of extreme weather conditions, including droughts, tropical cyclones, and floods, they are facing high levels of unemployment, school closures, and extreme poverty.
Happy, a climate activist from Tanzania, said: "Young people all over the world are on the front line because we know that the future highly depends on us, the next generation, the current generation, and all of us are affected highly by the climate crisis."
"Young people are affected today, but we are also affected tomorrow. We are today's generation and tomorrow's generation. One of the challenges is that young people are still not at the front of fighting climate. There is still no space, but we are demanding it, and if there is no room for us at the table, we young people will make for ourselves so that our voices will be heard,” said Ally, a climate activist from Tanzania.
Speaking on the devasting effects on climate disaster on women and girls in Liberia, “Young women are at a risk of sexual and gender-based violence when they are unable to attend school due to extreme flooding. We need more young female climate activists,” said, Princess, a young female climate activist from Liberia.
“The best outcome at COP27 is for developed nations to keep their promise and finance communities dealing with loss and damage”
Collins Odhiambo, Youth Engagement Advisor at Global Platforms, ActionAid’s Youth Network, said: “The need for loss and damage finance can no longer be denied. COP27 must not become another talk show. The pledges must lead to concrete actions.
“Implementation of key COP 27 actions would be meaningless without all stakeholders on board.”
Young representatives will be able to present their statements and key policies for driving climate ambition to high-level policymakers during the Youth and Future Generations Day today.
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Notes to Editor
ActionAid is a global federation working with more than 15 million people living in more than 40 of the world’s poorest countries. We want to see a just, fair, and sustainable world, in which everybody enjoys the right to a life of dignity, and freedom from poverty and oppression. We work to achieve social justice and gender equality and to eradicate poverty.