African youth are calling for concrete action on climate change ahead of the 27th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change next month.
COP27 will take place in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, from November 6-18.
In a resolution passed at the closing of the YouthConnekt Africa summit in Rwanda’s capital Kigali on Saturday, young people said mobilizing climate change finance was an urgent necessity for many of the steps African countries need to take to combat climate change. against climate change.
COP27 should set out concrete actions to help developing countries secure the climate finance needed to boost climate actions, they suggested in the resolution, titled a call to action to world leaders.
The resolution will be presented at the COP27 meeting.
Although developed countries have pledged nearly US$100 billion per year by 2020 for climate action in developing countries, this has yet to be fulfilled.
“At COP27, there should be concrete actions to launch plans on how funds will transform to ensure sustainability. Yet more innovative funding models and new funding instruments are needed,” said Alodie Iradukunda, Coordinator of Rwanda National Youth Council addressing the gathering.
Young people also called on COP27 to clarify the steps needed to address loss and damage.
“There is an urgent need to secure a new, dedicated financing facility that will help developing countries ravaged by climate-induced loss and damage.
More policy development efforts should be channeled into understanding and developing an action plan to address loss and damage in vulnerable communities, alongside mitigation and adaptation” , said Iradukunda.
On youth-led green entrepreneurship, the summit called on Africa to prioritize and harness the power of innovative youth solutions as a tool for green and climate-resilient economic growth. The role of young people in climate actions should not be underestimated as they are powerful catalysts for advancing climate actions, especially through green entrepreneurship, the young people said.
The forum urged Africa to scale up adaptation.
Climate change threatens the lives and livelihoods of over 100 million people living in extreme poverty. The summit warned that with low levels of adaptive capacity and lack of relevant information and high reliance on agro-ecological systems, livelihoods in Africa will be badly affected due to climate change. .
“Every problem starts with a climate change issue, which is why transforming our strategies and changing our behaviors to protect the planet and help vulnerable people is the only way we all have to make Africa and the world a better place. place,” said Juvenile Mugwa. , young delegate from Cameroon.
Investments must be made in early warning systems and infrastructure capable of withstanding extreme weather conditions, according to Iradukunda.
“We need to develop plans and policies to deal with the effects of climate change. Adaptation is therefore essential and essential to ensure that Africa can continue to thrive in the face of climate change,” she said.
Regarding the energy transition for Africa, the young people called on COP27 to ensure sustainable access to energy for the 600 million Africans who still do not have access to energy in Africa.
The summit also called on Africa to accelerate the move towards climate-smart agriculture, noting that climate change is undermining the continent’s ability to feed its people, making it a top priority to address.
The meeting called for improved agricultural productivity to address growing food insecurity in the face of climate change.
On plastic pollution and waste management, the summit highlighted the need to improve waste management, especially plastic waste, as it poses a serious threat to the continent and affects people’s health. He also called for more investment in waste management through public-private partnerships or increased support for social entrepreneurship efforts that tackle these issues.
The largest annual Africa Youth Summit that connects young people across the continent and beyond was organized under the theme “Accelerating Investments in Youth: Resilient Youth, Resilient Africa”.
Around 10,000 young people and policy makers from over 90 countries attended the event.
Oulie Keita, Executive Director of YouthConnekt Africa, commended the youth for their enthusiasm in participating and stressed the need to put youth in the driver’s seat.
“Young people have engaged with their leadership to shape the narrative on Africa’s development to ensure that Africa is represented for what it truly is – a continent rich in talent, natural resources and resilience, Africa is indeed the future,” Keita said.
“Throughout the sessions, the youth participants felt a sense of empowerment after leaders and experts from various fields pledged to support the youth to successfully undertake projects that can guide the development of the continent. “.
Key issues discussed at the summit included youth contribution to climate action, sustainable peace and security, creative cultural industry, sports, economics as well as skills for the digital economy.
The summit highlighted the digital economy as an important emerging sector with promise for job creation.
A continental initiative, YouthConnekt Africa is on a mission to empower young people by enhancing their knowledge, experiences and skills while investing in their ideas, innovations and initiatives to harness Africa’s demographic dividend. Final article
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