‘Youth should act on global warming’

2009-12-15 00:00

THERE is an urgent need for the youth to understand the seriousness of global warming and learn ways of slowing the process down.

This is the view of five children’s ambassadors, three of whom attended the climate change conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, last week.

The global United Nations youth campaign Consider Us sent the three ambassadors to represent the youth at the conference.

One of the child ambassadors, Phillip Strydom from Durban, says it is high time that people realise the need to educate children about global warming and the dangers it poses to the environment. He and Tanya Meyer did not make it to Copenhagen.

“I am an avid conservationist, and unless we educate everyone around us, we will not win the fight against global warming …,” Strydom, an active member of his school’s environmental club, says.

Daniel Smith, from Cape Town, says attending the conference was an eye-opener and a platform for the youth to voice their feelings and concerns about global warming.

“… We are on a serious journey to let the world know that what affects our environment affects everyone. With all the talk and ideas brought about during the conference we hope that every country will stick to their word,” Smith says.

Another ambassador, Litha Maqungo, says so many children in Africa don’t have a voice to speak out and be heard, even though they are the most affected.

“I now have the opportunity to represent the African children and be their voice.”

Anya Tiepelt from Hermanus also made it to the conference after raising R8 000 towards her funds in 24 hours.

The group handed over a book with thousands of children’s messages to high-ranking UN delegates. The messages contain one simple plea, to consider children in climate change decision making.

The book will then return to Cape Town where, along with a sample of air and water from the top of Table Mountain, it will be encased in a time capsule at a purpose-built heritage site. The time capsule will be retrieved in 20 years to determine whether or not current leaders did in fact consider today’s children.

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