How young people are learning skills and shaping demand to tackle climate change

Narek Mirzoyan, European Youth Press

Recent years have seen an increasing focus on greenhouse gases. This phenomenon influenced our climate and we can both see and feel the effects of climate change in our global environment. There is an increasing global response to this being proposed by different countries that understand the necessity to work together for environmental and sustainable economic development. The proof of this is the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, the Kyoto Protocol in 1997 and the Paris Agreement on climate change in 2015.

Acknowledging that climate change is a common concern of humankind means that young people are not an exception and should address climate change when taking actions. By this we will not only protect ourselves but also will promote and be considered an example for others too. A youth forum on ecology, recently organised in Saint Petersburg, showed how young people are united and concerned about climate change. During the forum there were several discussions by young people from Italy, Armenia, Germany, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Kazakhstan, France and others with the purpose of proposing a shared environmental policy to tackle climate change.

For the protection of the environment young people affirmed the importance of education, training, forums creating public awareness, participation and access to information and cooperation at all levels on matters of climate change. Moreover, during the forum the Paris Agreement on climate change discussed which participants felt there are more advantages than disadvantages to the agreement, in particular, the following advantages were mentioned:

  • Paris Climate Agreement creates hope that a fundamental and rapid energy transition is achievable;
  • Paris Agreement is an inspirational accord that will trigger and legitimize more climate action in the world;
  • Paris Climate Agreement is trying to find an effective way to completely decarbonise the world economy;
  • Any agreement on climate change is better than no agreement at all.

In addition, the participants had a chance to discuss the challenges of the Paris Climate Agreement implementation process, which global market mechanisms can be worked out in order to stimulate a low carbon development process which includes:

  • A tax on transporting goods;
  • Carbon tax on company production processes;
  • Creation of global environmental standards for factories, companies, power plants;
  • Halting investments into the fossil fuel sector by applying a global tax on investments into the fossil fuel sector which can be used for helping developing countries implement renewable energy instead of using fossil fuels.

Climate finance is vital for effectively addressing climate change through adaptation and mitigation activities. To reorient the global energy system to one that is consistent with the 2°C goal, $25 trillion are required from 2015 to 2030. Therefore, climate finance needs to be significantly scaled up from $391 billion to $1.6 trillion per year. Up to date, climate finance on mitigation accounts for 93% of total climate finance, while adaptation activities receive only 7% of available global climate finance. To increase climate finance flows, strategies should be taken to scale up public funds, integrate climate consideration to financial systems, provide sufficient incentives and inducement while increasing investment opportunities and reducing risks for private actors.

Read more at: European Youth Press