The United Nations Conference on Climate Change meetings will have a different participation: in addition to traditionally suited representatives of countries, 25 children’s testimonies from 12 countries will be heard. They talk about how their lives have been impacted by the climate emergency and demand effective action from authorities. The films were produced by UNICEF and Alana, in partnership with Bernard van Leer Foundation.

Children are the most impacted by the climate emergency and they represent one third of the world’s population (around 2.2 billion people), with half of them (more than 1 billion) currently living in places exposed to severe climate risks, especially in the Global South. In the world today, more than 1 in 4 deaths of children under 5 years of age are attributable to unhealthy environments. Despite this, children do not participate or are taken into consideration in COP agendas and negotiations, which will define their lives. In more than 30 years since the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) entry into force, there has never been a decision focused on the protection of children and adolescents.

“When we speak about climate change, we are speaking about children. We need to protect their futures – it’s that simple. The powerful testimonials of children like these need to be the last thing that negotiators hear before entering discussions that determine what kind of world they will grow up in. We can only hope they listen”, said UNICEF global lead on climate change Gautam Narasimhan.

“Children are not just victims, but also active contributors as agents of change. We have seen children stand up around the world and push for solutions. They have the right to participate in decisions”, says JP Amaral, Nature Manager at Alana. In the films, children from Madagascar, Somalia, Serbia, Australia, Pakistan,

Kazakhstan, Malaysia, the United States, Barbados, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Brazil spontaneously express their genuine concerns and call for immediate solutions from the planet’s top leaders. The statements arose from the question “Do you think adults are doing enough to help solve the problems of climate change”? The children were definitive in their responses:

“I would like to say yes, but they are not; Yehansa (Australia); I don’t think adults do anything about climate change, Hidaya (Somalia); Stop fighting and let’s focus on what really matters; Sadie (United States); If you keep burning, we’re going to die in this heat;, Raoni (Brazil) ;We are already poor and if climate change continues, we will really be in trouble; Lova (Madagascar); I’d tell them to try harder; Lamar (Egypt); No offense, but you only have a few years left to live, while I’m only 11 years old ; Aleema (USA) ;Stop thinking and do something once and for all;, Laila (Barbados);Climate change has ruined my life; Anja (Servia).

Die Übersetzung aus dem Englischen wurde von Sezen Erdogan vom ehrenamtlichen Pressenza-Übersetzungsteam erstellt. Wir suchen Freiwillige!