Ugandan climate activist Vanessa Nakate said on Wednesday that young delegates gathered in Milan wanted immediate action from leaders at the UN climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland – not cheap, last resort catches for support polluting fuels before getting down to business.
Nakate is one of 400 activists invited to Italy’s financial capital for a three-day Youth4Climate meeting that will draft a paper for the 26th Conference of the Parties on Climate Change, which opens on October 31.
“If leaders and governments are talking about net zeros or cutting emissions, halving emissions by 2030, 2040 or 2050, that means it has to start now,” Nakate told The Associated Press.
“That doesn’t mean if we want to do it by 2030, by 2030, let’s open a coal-fired power plant, you know, fracture gas or build an oil pipeline. This is not the real climate action we want, ”she said. “” If you want to go to net zero by 2030, it has to start now. “
Although activists have traveled to Milan from 180 countries, Nakate said many felt their suggestions for the closing document to be released on Thursday were not welcome. She said the dynamics were “worrying”.
“It really feels like everything has been decided for us,” said Nakate, 24, a business administration graduate. Swedish activist Greta Thunberg also accused organizers on Tuesday of bringing in “chosen” delegates and pretending to listen.
But she said the young people were speaking out and had created their own fossil fuel task force.
“I hope it’s something they can come to terms with,” she said.
Nakate gave a touching opening speech on Tuesday, calling on leaders not to honor their financial commitments and describing the devastating impact of climate change on them in Uganda. While she said she was overwhelmed by the support she received after her speech, she rejected the media’s tendency to dub the leaders of the movement.
“This is how people describe the climate movement,” Nakate said. “It’s not just a face or two faces. These are communities. These are people organizing in different countries. I think this is the real face of the climate movement. The people who are fighting for it. planet and a better future. “
In 2020, Nakate was cut from an Associated Press photo at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The AP apologized and acknowledged the errors in its initial response.
Pope Francis on Wednesday praised young environmental activists for challenging world leaders to keep their promises to cut emissions and insisted political leaders make smart decisions to promote “a culture of responsible sharing.”
François thanked the activists for their “dreams and good projects” and encouraged them to form an educational alliance to help “rebuild the fabric” of humanity by taking care of the planet.
“This vision is able to challenge the adult world because it reveals that you are ready not only for action, but also for patient listening, constructive dialogue and mutual understanding,” he said.
Francis made the care of “our common home” on Earth a hallmark of his papacy and devoted an entire encyclical to the issue in 2015. The Scottish Bishops’ Conference has said it expects Francis to attend the Glasgow climate summit, although the Vatican did not. t yet confirmed its presence.
“It is time to make wise decisions so that we can use the many experiences gained in recent years, in order to make possible a culture of care, a culture of responsible sharing,” François said in the message.