While the people behind the locked doors are often 35 + years, at the COP24 the voices outside those doors were far below that age range.
Who was Speaking?
One of the faces most seen on the media from COP24, was the face of 15 year old climate activist, Greta Thunberg. She stunned the world by accusing the negotiators that they were not mature enough.
‘“You are not mature enough to tell it like is … Even that burden you leave to us children. But I don’t care about being popular. I care about climate justice and the living planet.”‘ (source)
Greta has inspired many other young people to speak up – because they feel their voices have not been heard long enough.
A group of students had left their classes and came to the UN climate conference to protest. They held up a sign saying “12 years left”. This time frame is a reference to the one that the UN warms about – that after 12 years the climate catastrophe will be beyond repair.
Why the Voices of the Youth are so Important
The voices of the youth are so important because the climate change is the most immediate threat for the youth. People that are older will not feel the consequences of the rising CO2 levels for as long as we will. Yes, the temperatures are getting warmer and warmer, and the number of heat related deaths are rising in those that are old, however we will feel those consequences for the most of our lives.
Because of this, we the youth are the most upfront and direct about what needs to occur. I agree with Greta, we aren’t yet paying taxes and involved in the capitalist system as much as the older people are, and that is maybe one reason why we can see clearer.
We aren’t letting business plans cloud of reason or judgement on making this moral decision: to fight climate change.