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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Climate change and COP27: what do young people say?


Important world leaders have gathered at COP27 in the city of Sharm el Sheikh, in Egypt, to discuss climate change, but what have young voices said about the problems that previous generations have inherited? ? 

Complaints, indignation and concern have been the common denominator not only at COP27 but on a daily basis. Young activists gathered at the Summit to demand that consistent action be taken to stop climate change. 

Vanessa Nakate, for example, an activist originally from Uganda denounced the climate crisis in Africa, which has implied the worsening of the conditions of Africans around problems such as access to drinking water or food. 

«Loss and damage is like what I explained, what happens, what I have seen, in Turkana? In the northwest of Kenya? Children, women, suffering, without access to water, without access to food; doctors talk about the multiple cases of children in hospitals due to serious malnutrition problems," Nakate explained in an interview with Democracy Now!

The concept of "loss and damage" has been one of the most repeated throughout the Summit; It is the way in which it has been denounced and demanded that the industrialized countries and, in a special way, the large polluting companies, compensate the countries that are experiencing the serious consequences of the exploitation of natural resources. 

The term covers both economic losses - homes, land, farms or businesses - as well as non-economic losses - the death of people, cultural sites or biodiversity. 

“Loss and damage is what we see happening in Pakistan, the floods that have caused more than a thousand deaths and displaced millions. It is what is happening in Nigeria with the floods, it is what is happening across the African continent with the cyclones, it is very clear that climate change is putting communities beyond the possibility of adaptation," denounced the Ugandan activist. . 

For her part, the environmental activist Sophia Kianni and one of the youngest councilors of the UN, denounced that those responsible for climate change say one thing and do another, for which he demanded that they stop lying. 

They say one thing and do another. Simply put, they are lying. Those are not my words or the words of other youth activists. No. Those are the words of the UN Secretary General, António Guterres”, Kianni explained when he took the floor on the COP27 podium. 

The young woman rebuked the attendees and ironically asked what the language should be in which the situation around the world should be explained to them so that they understand the seriousness of the problem. 

“What language do we need to translate the weather data into to get them to take action? Please tell us. Is there a secret language between world leaders that we don't know about? Because I want to believe that the only reason you're not taking action on climate is because you don't have the information. Because if you have had the information and are only pretending to take action, it would be unforgivable," the young woman questioned seriously. 

In several languages, in Arabic, in Russian, in French, in Spanish, and in English, Kianni demanded in a firm tone. "Stop lying."

You may be interested in: Latino community in the US does not quite connect with the climate message of the Democratic wing

Ingrid Sanchez
Ingrid Sanchez
Journalist and Latin Americanist. He has worked on issues of social movements, gender and violence.


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