As elders show the way, youth are key to reversing climate change
On December 12, the representatives of 195 countries adopted a historic agreement designed to meet the challenge of global climate change at COP21, the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, in Paris. Propelled by the urgency of the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, participants reached a consensus on a post-2020 framework to replace the Kyoto Protocol.
The consequences of global warming are not limited to glacial retreat and loss of biodiversity, but include an increased likelihood of extreme weather events, which may impact agricultural production and provoke food supply crisis.
The vulnerable will be the most severely affected, with the impact on children being particularly serious. Unicef has warned that the number of children directly affected by climate change-related disasters could reach 200 million in the coming decade.
At the Paris conference, leaders of Pacific island nations issued impassioned calls for action to meet the existential threat they face in the form of rising sea levels. In the end, a long-term global goal of limiting the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels was concluded.