The 2023-2024 Future Rising Fellows call on world leaders to ensure an inclusive decision-making process, an equitable climate finance plan and meaningful investment in climate education.
Girl Rising is proud to support the advocacy of the Future Rising Fellows Cohort 3 and their call for climate action, greater climate education and environmental justice. These young leaders, armed with their education and a moral clarity, are fighting for a more sustainable future for us all.
Dear COP28 participants,
We are a group of young leaders and Fellows of the Future Rising program from the organization Girl Rising. Among us are young climate scientists, environmental advocates, educators, storytellers, and activists. We represent different countries from all over the globe.
We would like to note the progress of inclusivity at COP28 but we still believe more can be done. Each of us represents one or more groups of marginalized people: youth, women, Indigenous peoples, people of color, and refugees. Our communities still experience gender injustice, the oppression of Indigenous peoples and pollution and resource exploitation of their lands, as well as the lack of representation of people of color in science and environmental protection. We urge you to draw attention to our voices - something we all deserve. Making COP28 inclusive should not be an exception but a rule. Now, with the internet and other technological features, inclusivity can be easily practiced and applied.
We can’t conserve or protect that which we don’t know or understand. This is why we believe that countries need to engage their residents in climate activities, as well as providing financial and legal support. This is a crucial part of sustainable community development. To achieve this, developed countries must fulfill their $100 billion per year promise in climate finance to support community resilience and adaptation. Moreover, these funds should be reachable not only for government representatives but also local and community organizations, activists, etc., so that it does not end up being monopolized by one group.
On top of the already insufficient and unequal state of education in developing countries, the economic crises, characterized by poverty and the necessity of displacement, exacerbated by climate change, further deprive more children of their right to education. According to UN statistics and the migration data portal, in 2022 alone, over 6 million children lost the opportunity to receive a school education and this is only among internal displaced groups triggered by disasters. We anticipate this number will only increase and authorities should act right now for children to stay at schools.
We consider climate education an essential component of future learning. We urge you to establish an international program for the implementation of relevant climate education in all educational institutions worldwide and ensure they receive the necessary support. All the resources should be available for children and adults, for workers of different professions, in different (primarily local) languages. By strategically amplifying the outcomes of climate discussions in developing countries, we can ignite widespread awareness and mobilize collective action.
We are deeply concerned about temperature anomalies of 2023. Some of us have already experienced the hottest summer and witnessed extreme droughts and floods, etc. Others, from the Global South, are gearing up for what is expected to be the hottest summer along with the El Niño effects. Therefore, we appeal to you to take urgent measures in the coming four months to support the countries of the Global South. We urge you to prevent the exacerbation of the global and local economic, demographic, and food crises by offering immediate assistance.
Given all of the above, as young leaders, we ask you, leaders of countries, organizations and companies, to take action and promote climate initiatives to enable youth to build their future.
Andrea Villarreal Rodríguez (Mexico), Anjali D. Boyd (United States), Charitie Ropati (Yup’ik & Sāmoan, Alaska Native and Pacific Islander), Collins Busuru (Kenya), Dayana Blanco Quiroga (Bolivia), Khongorzul Batbayar (Mongolia), Maria Yaschenko (Argentina), Selma Bichbich (Algeria), Shakhzoda Mirakova (Uzbekistan), Sushmita Krishnan (India)