Youth spell out five demands to tackle climate breakdown

(EurActiv, 21 May 2019) Climate change is threatening the future of younger generations, but decision makers are still not taking it seriously. To get them started, youth organisations have joined forces with partners across Europe to come up with a set of five demands for how to solve the crisis.

This op-ed is co-signed by the leaders of several youth organisations (full list at the bottom of this article).

It is very distressing to see the climate crisis wreaking havoc around the world, and to hear day in and day out just how devastating the future warming could be. It is even more painful to see the failure of politicians to treat the crisis with the urgency it deserves. Those in power in Europe are still ignoring us, and taking away our future.

As climate change impacts accelerate, we cannot sit around just watching things get worse. We are putting it all on the line to defend our future and stop the climate madness. We have been striking, and are determined to continue until politicians start acting decisively. We deserve to do more than just survive; we all deserve to thrive.

Politicians feel the heat from the people on the streets. Everyone is talking about climate change now. Many politicians have welcomed our strikes and expressed support. But we do not need their standing ovation. We need action.

The science is clear: we are nowhere near on track to avoid global warming of more than 1.5°C. Despite millions of school children striking, politicians are still not willing or able to break from the status quo. Just last week, at the Future of Europe summit in Sibiu, Romania, European leaders yet again missed a crucial opportunity to commit to increase actions to halt emissions.

This is a key moment for Europe. The upcoming European elections are a good time to prove that you – all current and future European decision makers – understand what is at stake for us and will do your absolute best to put Europe on a path to a healthy, fair and liveable future.

Climate change is a global problem and we need international cooperation to tackle it. We need national action in every single European country, but also Europe as a whole needs to move.

Every candidate in the European elections must take a stand. We need a new generation of politicians who will put climate action as their top priority, over everything else. Candidates must commit to do everything in their power to confront the climate emergency when they are elected. They must also put forward concrete proposals on how they plan to do so.

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EurActiv, 21 May 2019: Youth spell out five demands to tackle climate breakdown