SHARM EL SHEIKH, Egypt: Ahead of G20, students from 15 prestigious universities in nine countries called on world leaders to empower young people and uphold the principles of multilateralism in order to transition net-zero carbon commitments into action.
The call to action comes from the Global Alliance of Universities on Climate (GAUC) youth ambassadors who released an open letter directed to world leaders at the ‘Climate x’ event at COP27 in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt. Held in the China Pavilion on November 9, Finance Day, the event brought together GAUC members with global climate leaders including Xie Zhenhua, China’s Special Envoy on Climate Change; Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, French Minister of State for Development, Francophonie and International partnerships; Inger Andersen, Executive Director, UNEP; Nick Stern, Chairman of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, LSE; and Elizabeth Yee, Executive Vice President, the Rockefeller Foundation.
Xie Zhenhua, China’s Special Envoy on Climate Change emphasized the importance of youth contributing to the synergistic approach to the climate problem: “The cross section between climate change solutions and other SDG goals is the key to mankind’s green revolution, which is the spirit of ‘Climate X’. Now is the time to encourage more young people to join this movement and put forward innovative solutions.”
During the event, youth ambassadors from GAUC unveiled a letter to global leaders on behalf of students across six continents, highlighting the need to harness the skills and drive of young people towards urgent climate action. Yenziwe Mbuyasa, GAUC’s Global Youth Ambassador from Stellenbosch University said: “The global youth have vested interests in climate action to help the world and are ready to contribute their passion, insights, intellect, and actions to protect our planet for a sustainable future.”
Developed by the next generation of climate leaders, the letter calls on decision makers to honor the principles of intergenerational equity and multilateralism, and to broaden channels for young people to effectively participate in global climate governance.
“Beyond being observers and voicing out, young people are capable of making transformational changes with our wisdom and solutions.” Canyang Xie, GAUC Ambassador from Tsinghua University expressed. “With diversified opportunities and platforms, we will strengthen our climate leadership and broaden our horizons,” Ghilan Mara Andreea, GAUC Ambassador from London School of Economics emphasized. You can read the full letter here.
The climate X event is part of GAUC’s 2022 Climate x Campaign, which includes a series of events at the national, regional, and global levels, such as a Climate x Youth Leadership Training Pilot, an Africa Regional Climate Forum as well as the 2022 ‘Climate x’ Global Youth Summit on Net-zero Future, and the Global Youth Climate Week.
Michael R. Bloomberg, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Climate Ambition and Solutions and founder of Bloomberg L.P. and Bloomberg Philanthropies said, “When it comes to tackling climate change, young people deserve a seat at the table. The Global Alliance of Universities on Climate is helping to provide that seat, while supporting their work to build a more sustainable future. We need more global and cooperative partnerships like this to accelerate our progress”. As the convening partner, Bloomberg L.P is proud to build on its successful collaboration with GAUC and to announce that it will grant 100 students from GAUC’s Climate x Pilot program complimentary access to Bloomberg L.P’s newly released ESG certification.
The Campaign also gained support from the Rockefeller Foundation. Its Executive Vice President Elizabeth Yee said “GAUC embodies the global effort necessary across generations and sectors to halt climate change. By connecting and supporting students globally, GAUC is preparing youth climate leaders for their future role and enabling their contribution today.”