UNFCCC chief Figueres demands action from youth over climate change

By Ed King
RTCC in Bonn

UN climate chief Christiana Figueres has called on young people around the world to show they care about the planet’s future by using the ‘power of demand’ to influence business and politicians.

In an interview with RTCC Figueres expressed disappointment that more young people were not involved in the process – saying they had the ‘moral responsibility’ to ‘step up to the plate’.

In particular Figueres – who is the mother of two daughters – called for young people in industrialised countries to be selective over what they spend their money on – punishing polluting companies in the pocket.

“That generation are the one that is buying all the gadgets – are they actually looking at what the carbon footprint is?” she said.

“Are they demanding low-carbon products? Are they changing the consumer patterns – in particular in industrialised countries?

“That demand should be low carbon, high resilience – and they are only going to be able to exercise that strength of demand if they raise their awareness and make conscious choices about what they buy, how they buy it – and that is something that they are still not doing.”

Figueres calls on the youth to develop personal relationships with their country's delegates (© UNclimatechange/Flickr)

Figueres top tips to youth

1. If you are attending conferences build a personal relationship with delegates so you can continue to push for highest ambition andgreatest speed of decisions.

2. At home – use domestic networks to influence country positions on climate change.

3. Use internet and social media to communicate with each other across the world to raise awareness.

4. Be selective over what you buy. Check the carbon footprint of products and influence business through the power of demand.

Have your say: If you’re involved with a group get in touch and tell us how you are trying to influence business and politicians.

Leave a comment below, tweet us @RTCCnewswire or email [email protected]

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