Clima East at COP19: Notes from our Key Expert (5)

An Intergenerational Approach to Climate Change – Galvanising Leadership for Urgent Action

Key point from High Level Leader’s Breakfast Meeting at the Warsaw COP19, 19/11/2013

Intergenerational equity is among the subjects increasingly addressed by climate negotiations alongside gender issues. This event, organized by the COP Presidency and the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice, proposed an intergenerational approach to climate change as a unifying theme that can catalyze an urgent response to its challenges. In her speech, Mary Robinson stressed three key issues:

  • intergenerational equity as a key issue for discussion under the Durban Platform
  • the need for a greater involvement of the young in climate negotiations 
  • the urgency of addressing intergenerational justice

Minister Marcin Korolec, President of COP19/CMP9 noted: ‘Climate change shakes our ability to exist in the here and now’.

The discussion centred on real life impacts of climate change and the ability of a ‘people-focused’ lens to galvanise consensus and support for action and negotiation for meaningful international agreement to tackle its causes and effects.

Amongst the guests of the events, female delegates from developing countries (Kenya, Uganda) stressed the need to apply the principles of the Convention in negotiations, especially the importance of adaptation and capacity building. A representative of the IPO (Indigenous Peoples Organisation) called for action to address the situation in the Philippines following typhoon Haiyan and called for respecting the “polluter pays principle”. Representatives of the YOUNGO (NGO constituency) called for adequate representation of the young people in climate negotiations. Representatives of international organizations and business (the World Bank, OECD, KPMG) called for long-term goals to be set and for substantial climate finance. A representative of the Polish Parliament stressed the need for public awareness campaigns focusing on climate change and climate change education and called for a greater involvement of national parliament.

The speakers were supportive of the view that these issues have to be further debated and need political support.

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