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Hot off The Press! Youth Intervention at Conference of Meeting Parties

December 8, 2009
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The Adaptation working group have gotten a slot to deliver an intervention at tomorrow’s Conference of Meeting Parties! We chose to write it from an Annex 1 person’s perspective to make the issue of financing more impactful. I am SO excited!!

The draft text we wrote is as follows:

Thank you for the floor, Mr. Chairman.

Vulnerable people world-wide are already suffering the impacts of a warming planet: the World Health Organization estimates that climate change contributes to more than 150,000 deaths and 5 million illnesses annually. These effects will only increase in their severity and universality. In addition to ambitious and binding emissions reductions, you must commit to adequate adaptation funding for affected communities now; here, in Copenhagen.

People around the world are already taking steps to preserve their lives and livelihoods. Farmers develop high yield grains to address food shortages, women plant trees to mitigate drought, and coastal communities organize to prepare for the next storm. I too am willing to adapt. This is my adaptation promise:

As a youth from an Annex 1 country, I will give 25 cents a day for climate resilience. With 25 cents a day, my friends in the Maldives can retain their national sovereignty. With 25 cents a day, my sisters in Bangladesh can implement rapid response systems to save their families in flash floods. With just 25 cents a day, my peers in Nepal can develop water resource management for when their glaciers melt.

I call on wealthy governments to give at least $100 billion dollars per year to an adaptation fund that is accessible, democratically-run and accountable to the UN treaty. These grants must be additional to existing ODA and commensurate with the immense scale of our countries’ historical contributions to this global crisis. This is not a question of aid, but of just compensation. 25 cents a day per Annex 1 citizen is all it would take.

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