Youth pledge to assume dynamic role in action against climate change, submit declaration
New Delhi, February 3, 2020: A 'Youth Declaration on Climate Action' was presented on Friday, January 31 at the World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS) 2020, the annual flagship event hosted by The Energy & Resources Institute (TERI). The students, speaking on behalf of the global youth, called upon heads of states to acknowledge and act in accordance with priorities that will strengthen climate action, sharing the belief that "global problems are beyond the power of any single entity to tackle". The Declaration marks the culmination of the "Youth Climate Conclave", a three-day programme during which 85 selected students participated in awareness building sessions and deliberations to present their views about issues related to climate change.
The event was held in the presence of Dr J.R Bhatt, Adviser - Climate Change, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), Govt. of India; Mr Raimund Magis, Deputy Head, Delegation of the European Union (EU) to India; Mr Atul Bagai, Head of Country Office (India), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); Mr Nitin Desai, Chairman, TERI; and Dr Ajay Mathur, Director General, TERI. The Conclave, held as a side event of WSDS 2020, was organised by the EU, GIZ, TERI, and CEEW as a part of the Strategic Partnership for Implementation of Paris Agreement (SPIPA) project of the European Union with the MoEF&CC as the nodal ministry.
During the Conclave students attended informative sessions on key facts regarding climate change science and impacts, the international negotiation process (UNFCCC, Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement) and the main negotiation issues. The programme also included a one-day simulation of a UNFCCC negotiation where students were divided into 5 negotiation groups through which they discussed challenges and possible solutions to climate change, with a specific focus on the role of the global youth.
The "Youth Declaration on Climate Action" text highlighted the need for younger generations to assume an active role in finding constructive solutions to climate change. This was concretely addressed by pledges that included, "Adopting a sustainable lifestyle to move towards a low carbon economy; stressing the need for the mobilization of youth awareness, education, capacity building and outreach; and promoting innovation, entrepreneurship and R&D as a part of the solution to the problem of climate change". Inviting all countries to fulfill their commitments to the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement, the declaration emphasised the need to pursue collaboration for realising the green transition, including the identification of priority areas in the field of mitigation and adaptation, promotion of renewable energy, and strengthening of the technological partnership among countries.
At the opening of the Conclave on 29 January 2020, Ms Henriette Faergemann, First Counsellor - Environment, Climate and Energy Counsellor, EU Delegation to India, graced the occasion along with Dr J.R. Bhatt, Dr Livleen K. Kahlon, Associate Director, Environment Education & Awareness, TERI; Dr Arunabha Ghosh, CEO, Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW); and Dr Ashish Chaturvedi, Director-Climate Change, GIZ-India, who also addressed the youth. Ms. Ashwini Singh, First Secretary, Fiji High Commission in New Delhi, spoke to the students about the perspective of the Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Officials and experts from MoEF&CC talked about the perspective of Like-Minded Developing Countries (LMDCs) and G77+China. The Italian Deputy Head of Mission, Mr. Pietro Sferra Carini, presented the Italian initiative related to upcoming COP26.
The Youth Climate Conclave was launched on 4th October 2019, and included a series of activities such as photography and blogging competitions for youth whose winners were awarded alongside the presentation of the Youth Climate Declarations at the World Sustainable Development Summit.
The Youth Declaration on Climate Action can be found here.
Names of the winners
- First Position: Vansh Bajaj, Gyan Bharti School, Saket, New Delhi
- Second Position: Khanak Lashkari, Subodh Public School, Jaipur, Rajasthan
- Third Position: Jonas C Givi, Chinmaya Vidyalaya Vaduthala, Kochi, Kerala
- First Position: Arpita Nayak, ITM Business School, Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra
- Second Position: Akshat Shrivastava, TERI School of Advanced Studies, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi
- Third Position: Vibhav Vikrant Tungare, ITM Business School, Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra and Harshita Sharma, TERI School of Advanced Studies, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi
- First Position: Grace Shalom Moses, Anita Methodist Matriculation Hr. Sec. School, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
- Second Position: Ryan Pathak, Sanskriti the Gurukul, Guwahati, Assam
- Third Position: Riya, D. A. V. Centenary Public School, Tohana, Haryana
- First Position: Siddhant Kumar, TERI School of Advanced Studies, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi
- Second Position: Garima Upreti, University of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
- Third Position: Sneha Shahi, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Vadodara, Gujarat
The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) is an independent, multi-dimensional organisation, with capabilities in research, policy, consultancy and implementation. It has pioneered conversations and action in the energy, environment, climate change, and sustainability space for over four decades.
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