Young activists have been making their voices heard at COP27. It is the first time at a COP summit a Children and Youth Pavilion has been present, giving young people a dedicated space to speak at the event.
While Greta Thunberg had decided not to attend the summit, this has not meant the voices of young people had been muted. While many young people agree with Thunberg, describing COP27 as "greenwashing", with more oil and gas lobbyists at COP27 than ever before, many young people from counties from high-risk areas have been "calling out from the inside" their governments for their continued development of fossil fuels.
Climate activist Vanessa Nakate from Uganda is set to speak to G20 ministers, telling them they must end the "moral and economic madness" for funding fossil fuels and prioritising short-term politics over the climate crisis.
One of the headline speakers, Ayisha Siddiqa, 23, is from Pakistan, the children and young people pavilion has spoken about her pride in the Children and Youth Pavilion being at COP27. "This is for the youth, organised by us. Unlike government and business areas, there's no corporate branding everywhere," Siddiqa has seen the devastation of the climate crisis, with Pakistan's floods devastating the land and claiming the lives of 1700 people as a result. "The world has come to an end for people… For me, the stakes are so high that I can't just give up hope for change,"
Young people at COP27 are representing nations of people, particularly from developing countries, who do not have the access and funds to attend the event. With that in mind, it has highlighted the need to secure representation at future summits. Many young activists have had to gain sponsorship and grants to attend.
It has previously been said at the conference that more needs to be done to protect young people's future. Their presence at the event is positive for activists, but t is a reminder of the urgency of action while negotiations continue throughout the week.
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