“Do you want an economy, or a planet we can all live on? I don’t want my future compromised by inaction on climate” — 16 year old from India

Children begged world leaders to craft a new climate treaty and left Copenhagen empty-handed. Their story.

By Stephen Leahy

COPENHAGEN, Dec 5 2009 (IPS/TerraViva)

Young people from 44 countries are demanding that world leaders take decisive action on climate change. The time for talk is over, they declared at the end of a weeklong Children’s Climate Forum here.

“Our plates are empty due to drought. Our future is at risk, and we demand that something be done,” they wrote in a declaration titled “Our World, Our Future” signed by 164 participants aged 14 to 17 at the conclusion of the forum.

I don’t want my future compromised by inaction on climate,” said Bipra Biswambhara, 16, of India.

Biswambhara and many of her fellow delegates were “shocked to learn how many people and parts of the world are already affected by climate change”, she told TerraViva. “We youth are committed to taking action in our home communities,” she said.

“We must have pity for future generations to come,” said Mohamed Axam Maumoon, 15, of the Maldives, a low-lying chain of islands that will likely vanish under rising oceans if temperatures rise two degrees C.

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“We are not alone, everyone is being affected,” Maumoon said. As a result there was a strong feeling of cooperation and common cause throughout the week, he said. “If we all work together we can have a bright future.” Continue reading