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Young people calling on decision makers to take specific action on climate change

Climate change is one of the greatest threats facing the world’s children and young people. Globally, UNICEF’s Children’s Climate Risk Index reveals that 1 billion children are at ‘extremely high risk’ of the impacts of climate change. That is nearly half of all the world’s children. Children bear the greatest burden of climate change and we need to act with the urgency required to ensure today’s children inherit a liveable planet.

We represent the young people of North Macedonia. Through several consultative initiatives, such as the Youth meaningful participation for climate action and NDC ambition”, Reimagine the Future” and “U-report”we heard the voice of thousands of young people across the country.

And we are calling on our public and private institutions to:

Let young people drive climate solutions

We call on decision makers to create space for us to be heard and have a seat at the decision-making tables in our schools, municipalities, and within the Government. We want open and transparent public and private institutions that will create space for us to constructively engage in political decision making in our country at every level.

Rethink the economic model

We call for relevant public and private institutions to rethink the economic model and find ways to incentivize industries to work sustainably, minimize exploitation of natural resource and create green jobs. Use the creative potential of young people to create a fairer and greener economic model that serves life, environmental sustainability, and social well-being.

Promote repair and reuse and support longer durability of products

Resource extraction and material consumption are among the main causes driving environmental degradation. We call on industries and decision makers to develop products that have longer durability and a system that encourages repair and reuse and circularity, so we can decrease the pressure on our nature and decrease waste in landfills.

Encourage energy cooperatives

We call on public and private institutions to create an enabling environment for decentralized energy production from renewables and with a greater focus on solar energy. Encouraging young people to create energy cooperatives will provide them with the economic benefits and help them contribute to address the climate crisis.

Climate change education with experiential learning

We call for education systems and programmes that offer more practical, fun and hands-on activities to help us and younger generations understand and address the root causes and impacts of climate change. We ask for more opportunities for experiential and interactive learning that will empower us with the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes needed to act as agents of change.

We, the young people, call for intergenerational solidarity and for exemplary leadership by the public and private institutions of North Macedonia. There is no time to lose. Our futures are interconnected, and our planet is shared.

We, the young people, are committed and ready to act with urgency and courage. Join our ambition and give us the space!

The Youth Climate Declaration was adopted at the Youth Climate Summit in Skopje on 20th October.

Source: unicef.org