The newly unveiled Intergovernmental Declaration on Children, Youth and Climate Action for child-inclusive environment policies has been signed by nine countries, UNICEF Global Chief of Communication Paloma Escudero said on MondayMADRID (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 09th December, 2019) The newly unveiled Intergovernmental Declaration on Children, Youth and Climate Action for child-inclusive environment policies has been signed by nine countries, UNICEF Global Chief of Communication Paloma Escudero said on Monday.
Escudero delivered remarks earlier in the day at a high-level event held jointly by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and UNICEF within the 25th UN Climate Change Conference (COP25) in Madrid.
"I am also delighted to welcome representatives of governments who are committed to putting children at the heart of climate policies. Chile, Costa Rica, Fiji, Luxembourg, Monaco, Nigeria, Peru and Spain have indeed signed the declaration we are launching today. This Intergovernmental Declaration on Children, Youth and Climate Change is a historic step towards accelerating inclusive, child-responsive climate policies," Escudero said.
The new declaration stands out among previous climate-related international initiatives in that it is specifically designed to be a child-inclusive policy response.
According to Escudero, only 42 percent of national climate plans mention children or youth and only 22 percent mention children explicitly, while this age group is the one most vulnerable and most affected by the climate change.
"This is why it is imperative that we put children at the heart of climate policies. And why it is urgent that we invest in the practical solutions that protect children from the effects of climate change," she added.
"We would want the Spanish Ministry for the Ecological Transition to invite youth to attend round tables and to engage them in shaping policies against climate change. This declaration was being developed for quite some time, and this event was UNICEF's way to recruit more countries to join it," Spanish eco activist Pablo Morante, attending the debate, told Sputnik.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said that she could understand where the young activists were coming from with their anger and desperation and admitted that they have the right to participate in decision-making when it comes to environmental policies.
The acting Spanish minister of education, Isabel Celaa, in turn, called for a "cultural and intellectual revolution" involving the youth was necessary to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, a goal set by the European Union last week within its so-called Green Deal in a bid to become the first climate-neutral continent on the planet.
Swedish teen eco-activist Greta Thunberg was expected to attend the debate, too, but was not spotted among the participants.
The debate was held in the Blue Zone of the Ifema convention center. The COP25 launched on December 2 to run through Friday, having gathered representatives of almost 200 countries. The agenda is focused on the goals outlined in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.