How ‘Call on COP’ unites young people across the globe on climate change

World Today

US Climate CountdownKristin Cook, right, of Potomac, Md., joins a rally outside the White House in Washington, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2015, in support of the climate talks in Paris. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

It’s the first movement of its kind: young people from every country on the planet are issuing an individual call on their governments and a collective appeal to the world to change the course of climate change forever.

One Young World, a London-based charity, has created ‘Call on COP.’ Leading it from the frontline are an unprecedented mix of voices.

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“Call on COP is One Young World’s message to the leaders’ meeting in Paris. It’s messages from 197 young people to 197 countries and from a variety of world leaders like Kofi Annan, Paul Polman, Bob Geldof, to say now is the time to act,” managing director Ella Robertson said. “We can’t have another series of climate talks where there are no major decisions.”

“No major decisions” is one of the biggest fears for Liu Guangtong, a shipping executive and One Young World delegate from China.

“I would like to have actions coming out of the sessions,” Liu said. “I don’t want nice words without any firm commitments or legally binding outcome. I really want an action packed scheme with concrete follow-up and all the outcomes should be legally binding.”

Some of the world’s biggest names have come out to support the ‘Call.’ Apart from Kofi Annan is fellow Nobel Peace Prize winner, Muhammad Yunus.

If there’s one word here that everyone’s using, it’s ‘urgency.’ Youth delegates at One Young World said the effects of climate change are now at a tipping point, after which the effects will become permanent and irreversible. It’s this one sentiment that binds them together and it’s this one sentiment, they say, they’re standing united on.

Special contributor James Chau reporting for CCTV News in Bangkok.