Two minutes, a chronometer, and the serious possibility to exceed. What can you say in just two minutes to sum up all the fears and disillusions, but also hopes of the youth at the UN Conference on Climate Change in Marrakech? That was the role of Luizio Rocha, member of the Brazilian association Engajamundo and spokesperson of the youth NGOs and movements committed to the climate challenge. Luizio, 20 years old, was straight from the very beginning: “Where is our COP of Action? Let’s face it: this week, we saw a lot of talking and no substantial progress.
The Paris agreement represents a strong positive move in the right direction, but this is not enough. The ambition is not high enough. Don’t let this be the COP of inaction”.The young student of Law at the University of Toledo de Ensino a Bauru, 300 km away from São Paulo, further spoke about the NDCs of the 197 countries which signed the Glibale Agreement on Climate, “will lead us to a 3ºC warmer planet by 2050”. He asked the mediators to “stop neglecting the voices of youth. Stop making decisions behind closed doors. Don’t let us speak to empty chairs”.
He further touch another sensible topic here in Marrakech, especially for African countries: finance needed to face the negative impacts of climate change: “Developed countries, we don’t need any more promises, we need one hundred billion dollars per year by 2020. Where is the finance?”Youth NGOs and movements asked to the representatives of the countries at the COP22 to implement the Paris Agreement taking into consideration: transparency, loss & damage, human rights, gender, indigenous peoples, intergenerational equity, health, and small-scale agriculture. “Climate change will not be resolved without tackling all these issues.”In addition, they claimed for practical actions in the education on climate change, in national policies and commitments taken by the 10 countries which ratified the Agreement on Climate.
Before concluding his speech with a “thank you”, and being applauded, Luizio was emphatic and poetic: “We will keep holding you accountable within your borders. This is our life. Humanity cannot survive without the Earth, but the Earth can survive without us.”