Today was Youth and Future Generations Day at the UN climate change negotiations in Copenhagen, Denmark. Youth were given t-shirts that read “How Old Will You Be in 2050?” on the front, and “Don’t Bracket Our Future” on the back. Overall, 1,000 shirts for youth and 1,000 scarves for adults were handed out to show inter-generational solidarity and to represent the global movement toward a more sustainable future.
In 2050 I will be 63 years old. My family, and those of my friends, will be preparing to be grandparents. It is these children, their lives and future that youth were advocating for today. The shirts and scarves were a compelling way to demonstrate visually the importance of including the youth in these negotiations.
Youth had a great opportunity to meet with Ivo de Boer, UN Secretariat and a very influential and powerful individual at the COP15 negotiations. He sat on a panel with three other leaders, and three youth spokespersons.
Today I witnessed one of the best speeches of my life. Ruchi Jain from the Indian Youth Delegation spoke about her experiences as a victim of climate change, and her dedication to stopping the most catastrophic effects from happening. She mentioned what youth from all around the world have been doing in their communities and dedication to solving the climate crisis. She floored the audience with her speech, which is in the video below.
Video content from Danielle Ostafinski
The youth were bright and orange today- they were hopeful of a good outcome for the negotiations, inspirational to others with the work they have been engaged in, and effective at spreading the youth message. Thank you Ruchi for giving such a compelling and amazing speech, and keep up the great work!