Children Put Their Demands for Climate Action Forward in First COP for Children
On the 28-29th of October, the first COP simulation was held in Cairo, Egypt with the participation of children and adolescents ahead of COP 27 that will be held in Egypt from 6-18 November 2022. The simulation witnessed the participation of 60 children (12-18 years old) coming from various governorates across the different regions of Egypt, covering Greater Cairo, Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt. Furthermore, children and adolescents from the refugees and migrants’ communities in Egypt participated in the COP simulation to ensure inclusion of all communities in Egypt.
The simulation was a unique precedent in the history of COP to promote the participation of the children and adolescents in the discussion of the issues related to climate change and environment. The simulation aimed at amplifying children’s voices and demands on climate change to be shared with national and global leaders.
The participants took over the roles of the world leaders to get engaged in discussions on the implications of climate change on children and youth specifically, in both their childhood, besides the consequences on their future adulthood.
The children and adolescents were divided into six groups, where each group represented a continent to discuss the main environmental challenges faced in this continent. They had the chance to present the proposed recommendations to address these challenges to ensure durable solutions to the climate change. Moreover, another group represented the technical committee that work on the outcomes of the working groups to draft the proposed solutions in form of recommendations. Finally, there were representatives of the current and previous presidency teams of COP. The recommendations were proposed in light of UN Climate Change Convention, Kyoto Protocol and Paris Convention.
The discussions in the working groups tackled the following topics:
1- Vulnerabilities of Climate Change
a. Impacts of climate on communities, countries (flash floods, water scarcity, droughts, see level rise, and heat waves)
b. Suggested solutions of the above problems
2- Adaptation measures (the implementation of the suggested solutions in medium- and long-term plans)
3- Mitigation measures
a. Activities and projects to reduce the GHG emissions.
b. Alternative sources of energy
c. Industrial sector modernization
4- Means of implementations
a. Analysis and planning for each sector
b. Financial resources to for implementation
c. Technologies and techniques needed for each activity or project
d. Capacity building needed for every and each step of the hall process
e. Promoting and returning to traditional knowledge and techniques used by each community which suites it the best.
We, the participants in COP simulation, on behalf of our peer children and adolescents, convened on 28-29th of October 2022 in Cairo, Egypt to discuss the climate change challenges we face. The challenges that lead to serious implications on our childhood in the meantime, in addition to our future adulthood.
The conveners have acknowledged that the children are relatively at more risk of climate change consequences compared to the adults.
The children have considered the findings of the global report “Born into Climate Crisis” by Save the Children.
On average and under Paris agreement pledges, a child born in 2020 faces two times the risk of wild fires than a person born 1960.
Globally under Paris agreements pledges, children born in 2020 face on average 2.8 times more crop failures than their elders.
Under Paris agreement pledges, children born in 2020 will face 2.6 times more droughts on average than people born in 1960.
Globally, under Paris agreement pledges, children born in 2020 are poised to face 2.8 times more river floods on average than those born in 1960.
Under Paris agreement pledges, children born in 2020 are projected to experience an average of 6.8 times as many heat waves in their life times than a person born in 1960.
Hereby, the children and adolescents convened in the COP simulation are presenting the following demands to the global leaders of COP 27 for their consideration and endorsement.
1- We demand mechanisms for inter-sectoral coordination and raising awareness on the issues of production/ based on adaptation to climate change and food security.
2- We demand that farmers are familiarized with new climate change adaptation, special practices and technologies.
3- We demand the transition to environmentally friendly diets.
4- We demand the support of developed countries/ contacts through the transfer of technology, cadres and material support.
5- We demand that many reserves be made to preserve biodiversity.
6- We demand increased awareness of climate change and sustainability, preferably if they are added to educational curricula.
7- We demand to reduce the use of fossil fuels and the carbon footprint and replace them with renewable energy such as solar energy and wind energy.
8- We demand that trees be preserved and agricultural lands not be demolished.
9- We demand an increase in the recycling of plastic and waste and an increase in environmental awareness of the importance of this to climate change.
10- We demand the preservation of coral reefs and biodiversity.
11-We demand to take advantage of flood waters by building dams to convert it into hydroelectric energy.
12-We demand supporting innovative programs to promote the blue economy, implementing carbon storage projects and planting mangroves.
13- We demand encouraging and supporting civil society organizations to implement projects that mitigate the negative effects of climate change.
14-We demand the cooperation of the countries of the world to develop of a strategy to monitor the situation of climate change throughout the planet.
15- We demand the construction of cities using architectural sustainability materials or as they are called (resilient cities).
16- We demand to hold annual global children’s COP ahead of the annual global COP meetings and ensure that our voices are in action.