Youth Climate Summit: ‘There is no Planet B’

By Janet Ekstract

UNITED NATIONS (TURKISH JOURNAL) – The United Nations made history last Saturday with the first ever Youth Climate Summit where young people from across the world came to share their vision of solutions to the very serious climate emergency the world currently faces.

The summit was an extraordinary opportunity for leaders to listen while youth spoke out demanding world leaders “stop wasting time” and take up the very serious challenge of climate change. 

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was the primary leader who listened while five well known climate activists spoke out for change. 

Greta Thunberg,  the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist who became the catalyst in the youth climate movement said: “We showed that we are united. And that young people are unstoppable. “

The UN chief emphasized: “The science is clear: our world leaders have an obligation to make radical change. ”  Guterres explained that his generation has failed to tackle the issue of climate change and that youth must be included in this conversation and must be given a voice to find creative solutions.

UN Youth Envoy, Javathma Wikramanayake said she was excited that youth from 140 countries had been able to represent their nations  as climate activists and catalysts fior change.

She told the climate activists: “We have been waiting fir you!” and she made it clear that the voices of global youth are the future of change to save the planet.

The youth envoy pointed to her T-shirt which said it all:’ ‘There is No Planet B.’

This first ever summit at the UN followed up on last Friday’s global climate strike where hundreds of thousands of people across the globe went marching for urgent change.

The climate summit was interactive with a diverse group of youth from unique organizations expressing their dire concerns about the climate through storytelling, talks and anecdotes. 

One of the mist innovative presentations was Summer Solutions which brought together some of the best sustainable solutions in technology created by youth. The winning solution turned out to be an app to help farmers in India created by an innovative university student from India.
The primary message of The Youth Climate Summit was clear: “Enough is enough:  No more fossil fuels! “

Secretary-General Guterres added: “One of the problems of world leaders is that they talk too much, and they listen too little. And..it is in listening that we learn.  It is in giving the possibility  for all those that represent today’s world to speak and to have their voices be part of decision-making processes that we move forward.”

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