The latest round of the UN climate talks in Bonn, Germany, finished yesterday.
Tale Ellingvåg from Natur og Ungdom/Young Friends of the Earth Norway delivered the following intervention in the closing plenary (in SBSTA, one of the working streams of the UNFCCC) of the talks on behalf of the youth constituency:
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
My name is Tale and I am speaking on behalf of YOUNGO – the youth constituency. You have been negotiating all my life. During this time the climate crisis has caused harm to millions of people.
In the last two weeks you’ve had a lot of meetings. It is still sad to see that you didn’t make enough progress to bring a text to the table. This would have brought us closer to an agreement, pushing for no more than 1.5 degrees of global warming.
We feel the need to underline the importance of not including Loss and Damage under adaptation. You cannot adapt to hurricanes, you cannot adapt to rising sea levels, you cannot adapt to ocean acidification. You cannot adapt, because these events are causing loss and damage. You have to consider key loss and damage areas, such as slow-onset events, the functioning of social protection systems, migration and displacement, non-economic losses like those of ecosystems and their services, and financial instruments to provide for rehabilitation and redress needs.
Market mechanisms and market-based approaches have so far not given us the needed emissions reductions. Neither the EU ETS, nor the CDM have succeeded. For these markets to have any effect, we need new ambitious, binding commitments. If we do not put environmental and human rights as premises for a system, it will only fail again, and the climate crisis will not be solved.
You also worked on the 2013-2015 review. You need to consider also non-IPCC resources, such as the emissions gap by UNEP. In the end, you need to consider a goal which ensures a future for each party involved. You need to have a long-term global goal, which does not compromise sustainability.
There is a lot negotiating left to do until we arrive in Lima and Paris. I ask you all to bear this in mind when you are writing your own positions and interventions: you are leaving the earth to us, and we will remember what you said and did during these critical years.
Thank you, Mr. Chair