Delegate: Mr. Kihl
42. Mr. Kihl (Norway), speaking as a youth delegate, said that young Norwegians strongly believed that the single biggest threat to humanity was the condition of the planet and the environment. Climate change affected everyone, but disproportionately affected those who struggled the most in their daily lives and was disproportionately caused by those who enjoyed the most advantages and had the economic capacity to solve the climate crisis. Those who bore the greatest responsibility in causing climate change likewise bore the greatest responsibility in addressing that challenge. [*7*] It was unjust to leave the burden of dealing with climate change to future generations.
43. The basic human rights taken for granted by the privileged were not enjoyed by all. The poor had limited opportunities and reduced ability to shape their own lives and increase their well-being due to the harsh living conditions brought about by climate change, which made clean water less accessible and harvests and soil poorer and increased the likelihood of conflict over scant resources. Conflict situations made the most vulnerable groups, women and children, even more vulnerable.
44. By 2030, 60 per cent of the world’s population would be children and youths. Young people were not only the future, however; they were also the present and their voices must be heard as decisions were taken that would affect the future. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had predicted that in the future millions of people would become climate refugees, yet their suffering could be avoided because the knowledge, resources and technology needed to eradicate poverty and hunger and bridge the gap between the advantaged and disadvantaged existed. The Millennium Development Goals had been adopted for that purpose and combating climate change would contribute to their realization.
45. The time had come to act. Member States must meet their MDG objectives, include young people in decision-making processes that affected society and prioritize the needs of the poor and the most vulnerable to climate change. All Member States should join with his delegation at the forthcoming Copenhagen Conference and make a firm commitment to limiting global warming to less than two degrees Celsius. World leaders must not disappoint the young people of the world; they must take sound decisions about the planet’s and humanity’s shared future.
UN Doc.: A/C.3/64/SR.2
UN Doc.: A/C.3/64/SR.2, 20 October 2009, p. 6-7, Youth Delegate Search: https://youthdelegatesearch.org/norway-2009/, doi: 10.17176/20221018-194329-0.