14 November, 2021 - World Vision is calling on leaders to go above and beyond the final COP26 agreement, in response to the desperate pleas of the world’s children and young people who spoke during the conference.
Many have today criticised the final agreement as not going far enough in efforts to prevent the devastating impacts of climate change. The international aid agency is also calling on government and industry leaders to consider the COP26 agreement a baseline and to put vulnerable children and young people at the heart of more ambitious climate change prevention plans.
They should do this by ensuring that children are fully involved in developing and implementing ambitious country plans that aim to stop the world’s temperature rising above 1.5C. Only this will guarantee that all plans and promised donor funding towards ending the climate crisis are realised in ways which address the needs and rights of the most vulnerable children.
Pleas for children to be fully involved in ending climate change have been echoed by young people who attended COP26. Two youth advocates from Sierra Leone, Tenema and Tejan, said “We want our governments and NGOs to create a platform where children are being empowered to be climate ambassadors.”
Ellen from Ireland said, “I’m really passionate about young people having a say in decisions that affect them; we’re so often overlooked. I would just like our world leaders to realise the urgency of this and make the most of those of us who are willing to offer some help.”
Whilst World Vision was glad to see a call for all parties and stakeholders to develop guidelines for enhancing public participation in climate change decision making and the inclusion of children and youth, we wait to see how this commitment will be implemented to value young voices at all levels of climate conservation plans.
Andrew Morley, World Vision International President and CEO, said: "We salute the children who have stepped up in ways we could never imagine at COP26. Girls and boys told governments about the appalling impact of climate change on their lives, with life-threatening consequences for nutrition, health, education and protection. They even came forward with solutions, such as Farmer-Managed Natural Regeneration, or natural re-greening.”
“Now it is time for world leaders to heed their call to action.”
Notes to Editors
For further information about World Vision’s engagement with COP26 visit www.wvi.org/our-work/climate-change/CoP2021
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World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organisation dedicated to working with children, families and their communities to reach their full potential by tackling the root causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information, please visit www.wvi.org or follow us on Twitter @WorldVision