Ahead of COP 27, children and youth address climate change and threats of increasing heatwaves
Local Conferences Of Youth engage young leaders in the Gulf
25 October 2022 - Today, UNICEF released a landmark report titled “The Coldest Year Of The Rest Of Their Lives: Protecting Children From The Escalating Impacts Of Heatwaves.” It highlights the severe impact of heatwaves on children. It also reveals that, even at lower levels of global heating, in just three decades, more regular heatwaves are unavoidable for children everywhere.
The report found that all Gulf countries included in the research fall into the highest category for child exposure to extremely high temperatures and are likely to remain in the highest category regardless of scenarios.
Only urgent action – a course correction – can save children’s lives and prepare them for the worsening climate the future will bring.
This message was also the conclusion of the ‘Local Conference Of Youth’ in Dubai earlier this month. LCOY UAE brought together youth from around the country to inspire local climate action and create inputs to regional and global conferences of youth leading to COP27 in Egypt.
The two-day event was the culmination of months of consultations online and in person. It resulted in a Youth Statement and Report submitted to YOUNGO, the children and youth constituency to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The Youth Statement, which is also addressed towards the UAE as the COP28 Presidency, outlines 19 urgent actions centred around youth and children’s meaningful leadership and empowerment in climate action.
“LCOY UAE is built on the core values of intergenerational rights and equity, and we hope it conveys children and youth demands to COP27 in Egypt and lays the ground for meaningful participation of children and youth, in all their diversity, in the lead-up to and at COP28 here in the UAE,” said Ayshka Najib, Youth Climate Advocate at UNICEF Gulf Area Office. “As the heatwaves report clearly demonstrates, children in this part of the world will be among the most affected for decades to come.”
“The heatwaves report reconfirms the centrality of children and youth in the climate agenda. They are not only the most affected by a human-made disaster not of their making, but they are also the planet and people’s most effective ally in addressing this monument threat,” Jumana Haj-Ahmad, Deputy Representative of UNICEF in the Gulf Area. “At UNICEF Gulf Area Office, we strive to empower children and young people to lead and influence. We were pleased to help facilitate LCOY UAE and LCOY KSA, both planned and implemented for the first time!”