Young COP17 delegates demand action against climate change

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5 Décembre 2011

COP 17 Youth Delegates

On Young and Future Generations Day (YoFuGe Day) 1 December 2011 – a day within COP17 dedicated to young and future generations – 17 WAGGGS delegates at the climate change conference in Durban led a global action to demand that negotiators stop just talking and start taking action.

Girl Guides and Girl Scouts take action

Performing a climate change Cha Cha Cha, the delegates sang at the conference for “everybody make a change” and were joined by Girl Guides and Girl Scouts in many countries. See the videos and pictures here.

WAGGGS youth delegates ask Climate Negotiators to make a change

The action so impressed the Chair of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI), Robert Owen-Jones, that he invited the delegates to perform on Saturday 2 December to the plenary of the COP, so in front on 192 national delegations.

You can watch the WAGGGS performance here.

Girl Guides and Girl Scouts speak out

As part of YoFuGe day, WAGGGS delegate Beatrice Omweri from Kenya spoke at a side event hosted by WAGGGS, United Kingdom Youth Climate Coalition (UKYCC) and 350.org, titled “African Youth Voices in Climate Change.” Beatrice’s story is a powerful reminder of how climate change is affecting girls around the world. You can read Beatrice's storyhere, or read more about the event in World Board Member Shaleeka Abeygunasekera's blog.

WAGGGS delegate Megan Van Buskirk from Canada spoke at a UNEP event exploring the role education plays in combating climate change. Megan explained how non-formal education is particularly effective in getting people to take action, as well as raise awareness about the issue. You can read Megan’s presentation here. WAGGGS youth delegate Thombi Thusi from South Africa also gave a speech at COP17, you can read Thombi's speech here.

Five key demands

WAGGGS and WOSM (the World Organization of the Scout Movement) co-hosted a press conference on YoFuGe Day to bring to the conference the demands of their combined membership of 40 million girls and boys, young women and young men in 172 countries. You can watch the press conference here.

WAGGGS and WOSM made five key demands, which included calling for COP17 participants to make a legally binding and ambitious deal on climate change.

In their demands, the delegates also called for young people to be recognised and involved in the decision making process, and for the needs and contributions of girls and young women to be considered in climate change policies, programmes and investments.

WAGGGS and WOSM also told COP17 negotiators that education was a key way of combating climate change, and that climate change must be treated as an issue that cuts across all areas of policy and legislation.

WAGGGS' and WOSM's five demands

  1. We must reach a fair, ambitious and legally binding deal in Durban
  2. The principle of intergenerational justice must be inherent in any process and decision on climate change, including the meaningful participation of youth in the decision making process and the recognition that decisions made now will most effect those both not responsible for the problem and those not leading in the negotiations  
  3. Education, especially non-formal education, must be recognized and invested in as a key combatant to climate change
  4. A gender approach to climate change, with special emphasis on the needs and contributions of girls and young women, must be taken in all climate change policies, programmes and investments
  5. Climate change must be treated as a cross cutting issue, considered in all policy and legislative areas at local, national, regional and international levels

Wherever you are in the world, you can join the youth delegates at COP17 in demanding that leaders implement measures to ensure a green, sustainable future.

Choose your action

The youth delegates have chosen several actions for you to choose from, please see our global action page for more information, or watch the video below.

If you decide to do this action with your group, please send us a video of your action to comms@wagggsworld.org and we'll post it on our Young and Future Generations (YoFuGe) page.

Find out who is on board and what the WAGGGS delegation will be doing our WAGGGS at COP 17 website.