Mar 12 2021
The scientists and youth activists on Friday said “No time to waste” on the first day of the virtual Global Youth Climate Summit 2021.
Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center (BYLC) has inaugurated the virtual Global Youth Climate Summit, in partnership with the California-based Foundation for Climate Restoration, Resilient Markets, and the Centre for Climate Repair at Cambridge on March 11, according to the press release.
The summit was attended by over 600 delegates from 80 countries across six continents. BYLC aims to mobilize the youths, build their leadership skills and empower them with the tools to lead the fight against climate change through this summit.
The speakers at the summit were concerned about the need for addressing the devastating effects of climate change, particularly in developing countries, the media release read.
“We believe that the climate crisis is Bangladesh’s biggest challenge in the next 50 years. Our very own survival as a country depends on how the world not only achieves net zero emissions but also brings greenhouse gases to pre-industrial levels,” said Ejaj Ahmad, founder, and president of BYLC, at the opening plenary session.
Sir David King, emeritus professor at Cambridge University and founder of the Centre for Climate Repair warned that by the middle of this century, Southeast Asia will be the hardest hit region of the world, he said.
“Seawater is being pushed into land every time a hurricane or tsunami hits. This is already a problem in countries like Bangladesh. Within the next 30 years, perhaps 200-300 million people from Southeast Asia will be forced to move somewhere else to live. All of this will happen unless we take urgent action to manage the risks of the climate crisis. And when I say we, I mean every one of us living on this planet,” he said.
Sir Christopher Ball, former warden of Keble College, Oxford University in this regard said: “The Youth Global Climate Pledge is launched from Bangladesh, a young country seriously threatened by global warming and the rising ocean; but it is a global pledge, created by young people who seek to recruit young people worldwide in each of the six inhabited continents to join them in providing the leadership that is lacking in the world today so that gradually more and more of us will choose to tread softly.”
Speakers at the summit said that today’s youths will face the worst effects as the frequency and intensity of climate change events increases but yet they are not being prepared for it.
Rebeca Sabnam, an 18-year-old Bangladeshi-American Cafeteria Culture youth advocate, said that the young people need to make noise in whatever way they can to be heard by their government and lawmakers, as there is no definite solution to address the existing climate crisis.
Peter Fiekowsky, founder and chairman emeritus of the Foundation for Climate Restoration said: “The climate restoration movement focuses on the flourishing, rather than just survival, of humanity. This means getting carbon emissions down to levels humans can be healthy in and getting the population rate back to where extinction rates go down to roughly zero.”
Other speakers at the summit also addressed the need for climate restoration to return the climate to a safe and healthy state on day one of the summit.
Moreover, according to the media release, before the summit delegates were required to sign a pledge co-created by young people to commit to the actions necessary to avert the global climate catastrophe.
On its closing ceremony on March 12, the summit will honor 12 youth climate champions, competitively selected from the delegates with a full scholarship to attend a leadership course and a $1,000 award for their climate restoration projects, it added.