Politics

Go slow to avoid frustrations, Latigo tells youth in Morocco

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One week into the climate change negotiations in Marrakech, Morocco, the youth attending the Climate Change Conference have expressed impatience with the pace of negotiations and asked the parties “to stop dragging their feet and take immediate concrete action”.

The 22nd Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP22) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the 12th Session of the Conference of Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol is currently taking place in Marrakech, Morocco and ends on 18th  November 2016.

With more than half the world population below 30 years, the youth are concerned that despite having entered a new phase of climate negotiations with the backdrop of the Paris Agreement. This is because the current pledges are totally inconsistent with reaching the common target of limiting global warming to 1.5 °C.

“Developed countries are likely to fall short of the pledged US$100 billion per year of climate finance support by 2020. We encourage Parties to continue working with the same ambition and commitment that they showed in Paris,” the statement read in part.

The Paris Agreement, which came into force on 4th November 2016 and has to date been ratified by 109 parties, aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of Climate Change and to strengthen the ability of countries to deal with its impact through appropriate financial flows and capacity building. The text of the agreement requires developed countries to contribute US$100 billion annually to developing countries beginning 2020. Nations are also expected to assess progress in meeting their climate change commitment every five years.

The statement urges parties to steer away from political matters that obscure climate negotiations, and start defining a framework that allows the transition from abstract objectives to concrete actions with frameworks that have well-defined targets and clear road maps.

The youth demanded for transparency and efficient information flow, finance and technology to address issues related to adaptation, loss and damage, human rights and health.

According to Edwin Muhumuza, the CEO Youth Go Green and leader of the Ugandan youth delegation to the Conference, the youth of the world are determined to create a sustainable future, and should therefore be given a platform because they are the most vulnerable group in as far as Climate Change is concerned.

“In Uganda, young people depend on natural resources. They have no jobs and the only way to survive is to cut down trees for sale, and this causes climate change,” he said in the press conference.

Muhumuza said young people should be engaged in decision-making processes, negotiations, climate change planning, even if it means coming up with national policies targeting young people and looking at how they can be engaged.

Prof. Morris Ogenga-Latigo (Agago North County), one of the delegates attending the climate change negotiations appreciated the role youth have to play in addressing climate change.

He said that youth need to understand the mechanisms at work in the negotiations.

“Negotiations are slow and tedious and they can be very frustrating but that is how they operate. While their call is a genuine anxiety, it will not change the pace of the process,” he said adding, “The Paris Agreement only came into effect this month and to expect that its coming into effect will transform the outcome immediately is not realistic.”

Prof. Latigo applauded the youth for their enthusiasm and appreciated the need to involve them “because they constitute the largest bulk of humanity whose activities on earth affect climate.”

He said when the youth appreciate what it means to be human and treat the environment in such a way that it doesn’t adversely undermine the climate, then much of the work would have been achieved.

COP22 is the first COP after the Paris Agreement and has been touted as the COP of action to implement what is contained in the Paris Agreement.

The delegation from Uganda comprises civil society organisations, youth, government officials, religious leaders and Members of Parliament.

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