Aug 122008

Brüssel, 12. August 2008 (Press Release, European Youth Forum): On the occasion of this year’s International Youth Day (12 August), whose theme is youth and climate change, youth organisations from all across Europe remind world leaders they should end their long and inefficient discussions on global warming, and instead, take immediate action. Children and youth in developing countries are the ones with the most at stake.

“Climate change is a clear example of how the well-being of younger generations is being compromised by the lifestyles of prior generations, ��? notes Bettina Schwarzmayr, President of the European Youth Forum. Global warming represents the most serious long-term threat to development in poor countries, experts say. Today, there are almost three billion people in the world under the age of 25; more than half a billion live on less than two dollars a day.

“Ban ki-Moon must take youth seriously. He must put youth back on the agenda and stick to his promises towards young people, ��? points out Schwarzmayr. “An increasing number of United Nations agencies work with issues affecting young people but there is an obvious lack of coordination; the UN Youth Programme remains weak,“ she adds.

The global rise in temperatures urgently requires a global consensus, and youth organisations in Europe expect the European Union to become a world leader on this matter.

As young people are the ones with the most at stake when tackling global issues such as climate change, youth organisations play a key role in ensuring that the policies put in place do not harm the most vulnerable groups, and in raising awareness about the impact that consumer habits can have on the climate.

In the lead up to the upcoming UN climate talks in Poznan in December, youth organisations alongside environmental NGOs will be mobilizing to remind world leaders it is time for action.

For immediate release: 12 August 2008

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