Inquiry on Climate Solutions

by the UN Joint Programme Framework on Children, Youth and Climate Change

This event brought together diverse conference participants for an
"intergenerational inquiry," focused on how actors can compromise to
contribute to a collective solution for a post-2012 climate agreement.

Richard Kinley, UNFCCC, stressed that addressing climate change will require
engagement from all sectors of society. Fred Doulton, UN Programme on Youth,
explained how this programme has serviced the intergovernmental process by
allowing youth to have a voice in the UN, and announced a new report on youth
and climate change. David Parker, UNICEF, described the impact of climate
change on children as a human security challenge, which should be addressed by
focusing on children’s rights.

Kathleen Dietrich, Pennsylvania
State University
noted that adaptation requires a collective and inclusive process. She stressed
that a compromise must be made on commitments required for adaptation funding.
Rebecca Zalatan, British Council Canada, emphasized the need to educate and
mobilize the next generation to be passionate about climate change. She said
that the most important compromise that needs to happen is between the economy
and the environment and that "if we act now, we can use our global wealth
to find a solution."

Ely Katembo,, noted that climate change solutions require overcoming
the digital North-South divide and increasing the representation of youth from
developing countries. Deepa Gupta,
Climate Network, said that youth can inspire Indian politicians with an
alternative vision of a low-carbon economy. Diann Black Layne, Antigua and Barbuda,
noted that rising sea levels pose tremendous risks to small islands, and, thus,
no compromise can be made on reducing emissions to halt this trend. Christiana Figueres, Costa Rica, underscored her
country’s commitment to both mitigation and adaptation. José Romero, Switzerland,
stressed the need for a global compromise within the limits of everyone’s

Yvo de Boer, UNFCCC, noted that while the participation of young people at
international climate change meetings is important, they should also engage
with their national governments at home to influence negotiating positions. He
added that negotiators are not only working on collective solutions but also
solutions that accommodate their own interests, and argued that a large part of
the NGO movement has become overly "bureaucratized." Michael Zammit
Cutajar, Vice-Chair, Ad hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action,
stressed the importance of considering both economic and environmental aspects
of sustainability. Caitlin Macleod, UNEP TUNZA, stressed the need for a
"one-way compromise" from the North on emission reductions as well as
funding for mitigation.

Participants discussed: the notion that no compromises should be made on
science in guiding the policy process; increasing developing country youth
representation; and climate change’s potential to exacerbate other world
José Romero, Switzerland.