Youth Conference Demands Action on Climate Change

© TUNZA23 August 2009: The largest ever youth gathering on climate change was convened in Daejeon, the Republic of Korea from 17-23 August.

The final statement from the Tunza International Youth Conference, entitled “Listen to our voices: the future needs leadership,” requests governments and citizens take action on climate change, and also commit themselves to working to address climate change.

In the statement delegates requested governments to, inter alia, agree on a more fair, just and action oriented post-Kyoto agreement adopted and implemented by all countries. It requested citizens to, inter alia, commit to sustainable lifestyles to reduce individual carbon footprints. Delegates also committed to, inter alia, exchange information, connect and promote best practice activities on climate change.

Another outcome from the conference includes a plan for young people to organize rallies in 100 cities across the world, as part of a major push to persuade governments to seal a meaningful deal at the crucial UN climate convention meeting in Copenhagen.

More than 800 young people from over 100 countries participated in the conference. Hundreds of other youth were linked to the meeting via a global town hall meeting to agree on a message to send to world leaders. A social networking platform for youth on climate change was also launched.

The Conference was organized by UNEP and supported by several UN entities including UNICEF, UNFPA, FAO, WMO, UN-HABITAT, UNDESA, UNESCO, and the Secretariat for the Convention on Biological Diversity. [UNEP Press release][Youth Statement]