Youth urge governments to prioritise climate crisis

Young people from more than 115 countries, co-ordinated by the Global Centre on Adaptation (GCA) Youth Adaptation Network, have presented a call to action “Adapt for our Future” to 8th Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during a virtual launch event hosted by the University of Groningen, the second-oldest university in the Netherlands. Ban Ki-moon, who is also Chair of the Global Centre on Adaptation, will present the youth declaration to world leaders attending by video the Climate Adaptation Summit, hosted by the Netherlands. Leaders including Boris Johnson, Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel and Narendra Modi are expected to attend.

The “Adapt for our Future” call to action, drafted following consultations with youth groups around the world, urges global leaders to declare a Decade of Action “to prepare younger generations to transition towards green and climate resilient development”. It calls upon “governments and all stakeholders to make the most of the unprecedented opportunity, post Covid-19, to implement the Global Youth Call to Action on Adaptation in addition to their mitigation efforts and Paris Agreement targets.”

According to a recent report in The Guardian, Climate-related disasters are estimated to have cost about $650bn (£474bn) globally in the past three years, amounting to more than 0.25% of total GDP. The UN has warned that by 2040 damages associated with climate breakdown could soar to $54tn.

Activists from the Youth Adaptation Network signed a call to action urging government interventions over the next decade “to prepare younger generations for the transition towards green and climate-resilient development”.

The Youth Adaptation Network is an umbrella platform to engage, empower and amplify the role of young people in the adaptation agenda. By creating an environment where young people are engaged as equal stakeholders in climate adaptation actions and providing them with learning opportunities, the Youth.

The Adaptation Network will translate knowledge into action by engaging and participating in the design and implementation of local and national adaptation plans. Co-designed with youth groups from around the world, the Youth Adaptation Network is working with existing groups, networks and education institutions from more than 115 countries and provides young people with a platform to access adaptation knowledge and campaigning materials while connecting them with leaders and businesses driving the global response to climate change.

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