Today marks Young and Future Generation’s day at COP22.
There is perhaps no better barometer for our action on climate change than the expectations of our youth. It is the world that they have to look forward to that is central to the work of the UNFCCC. It is important too to note that this isn’t just a question of those generations currently inhabiting this planet, but those who are yet to come. They deserve to have the capacity to enjoy the same rights, including the right to development, as we do today.
Youth and Future Generation’s day brings the attention of COP delegates to the issues of these important groups. However a single day is not enough to make their voice truly heard. The Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice has been active in advocating for a greater level of oversight on behalf of future generations in international processes, in particular those processes that have medium and long term aims, such as the Paris Agreement and Agenda 2030. It is the view of the Foundation that effective climate and development action must be accompanied by advice from the voices that understand the needs of future generations. As such we call on countries to consider creating a commission or other institutional mechanism to act as a guardian for future generations.
Climate justice demands that we don’t just tackle the issue of climate change head on, but that we also build a world in which the young and those generations yet to come are able to live within planetary boundaries and experience the full enjoyment of their rights. The Foundation hopes that today’s celebration of Young and Future Generation’s day will focus the minds of delegations not only on the world they want to save from the catastrophic effects of climate change, but also to the one they want to create for their children and those yet to come.