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The Youth Generation – YuFuGe Day

December 10, 2009

Today, my world is gradually, but noticeably crumbling. My generation’s climate is under severe threat. Around us, sea levels are rising, threatening to submerge my lands; the increasing heat from the rising temperatures upset my planet’s climate and its ecological balance. All these are happening, beyond my actions, beyond my control.

It is not fair. I am a youth, yet equally as much a citizen of this Earth as those supposed adults. Stripping them of their celebrated positions and casting aside their decorated experiences, they are no more an equal as I am in our role on this Earth. What they have, I similarly possess. Yet what they lack: energy, will power, unity and one sole direction channeled towards survival, I am well equipped with. These are simple yet true qualities and beliefs that we as youths hold dear, that those adults seemingly lack despite their wordy, politically correct statements.

Today is my day. A day to celebrate my role as a youth, in climate negotiations and on this Earth. YuFuGe Day (Youth and Future Generations Day) promises to portray us as a credible stakeholder in this climate negotiations, by demonstrating the significance and value of youth participation in these climate change talks. Today, youths decked in orange will flood Bella Centre. Today, numerous activities will be organized by youths on various topics like intergenerational equity, youth education, youths expectations and more!

In fact, the topic of intergenerational equity has been a pertinent issue that we concern ourselves with extensively. It is not fair for my generation to pay the price for a sin that we are innocent of, to suffer the consequences for something we did not contribute to or had much of a say in. We are the ones who will suffer the adverse effects of the present bad decisions made by negotiators and the brunt of all the selfish interests of the apathetic and disinterested people.

Yet for youths to really make a significant contribution towards negotiation talks, they have to possess the relevant knowledge capacity on climate science and be granted the opportunity to engage governmental delegates to channel their requests and hopes. Through YuFuGe Day, we hope to empower fellow youths with a holistic understanding of the global movement against climate change through learning more about policy aspects and understanding the activities that fellow youths across the world are immersing themselves with. On a broader platform, we hope to inform the governmental delegates and all parties involved in the negotiation talks of the activities and stance of the International Youth Climate Movement (IYCM) through the various sessions organized by us. Indeed, for youths to substantially influence the negotiation talks, stakeholders of the discussion need to be aware and informed on what IYCM does.

Going further, YuFuGe day provides a platform for interaction between the youth and the various delegates. Youths have the opportunity to invite their national governmental delegation to the Climate Rescue Station for a networking session, where they can exchange ideas and opinions over the discussion talks. Such a healthy sharing between both parties will aid in exposing youths to concerns from a governmental level, and further enable the country’s official delegation to discover more about their local youth’s demands. Thus the youths’ request is for the official delegates to attend the above session, and engage the youths in a meaningful and fruitful discussion.

Recalling the rallying question of “How old will you be in 2050?” issued by young people to negotiators many times over the past year, youth are the key stakeholders at these negotiations. My generation will be the leader and the people in 2020, and in 2050, and we have every right to decide how the world then should be. Instead of a mere “Yes we can”, we should indeed say “Yes we can, Yes we must and Yes we will.”

Live from COP15,

Gabriel Teo

ECO Singapore

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