Monday, November 29, 2021

Youth Activists Call on US for $ 100 Billion International Climate Assistance

Youth activists at the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, 8 November 2021. Photo by William Brangham / PBS NewsHour

On Monday, youth activists demanded that wealthy countries like the United States, which are responsible for most of their greenhouse gas emissions, collectively pay out the promised $ 100 billion in annual aid to the poorer, who bear the brunt of climate change.

“We are in [climate crisis right now] because of empty promises because [world leaders] prioritizing yourself and your economy over the planet and people, ”South African climate activist Raisa Nur-Magomed told PBS NewsHour at COP26.

Activists’ demand for the United States to meet its goal of increasing global aid came after former President Barack Obama spoke at an ongoing climate conference. During the COP15 summit in Copenhagen in 2009, Obama pledged that the United States would help achieve this goal by 2020. This year, President Joe Biden announced that the United States will commit $ 5.7 billion to these efforts, of which $ 1.5 billion will be dedicated to climate change adaptation. But critics argue that this amount is not enough to meet the original goal, and that the US should instead provide $ 43 billion to $ 50 billion in climate assistance annually.

Nur-Magomed also asked how it is possible to make “important decisions” on the agenda of the summit without the presence of marginalized groups.

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They said they and other activists in Glasgow are being ignored by the leaders and diplomats leading the conference. According to Nur-Mohammed, these activists not only do not sit at the negotiating table, but are also deprived of the opportunity to even be present and observe these discussions.

“Being here from the Global South with other people from the Global South, watching all these leaders play games with the future is terrible,” they said. “The aftermath of the climate crisis is not something that will happen in the future. This is happening right now in our countries because of people from the Global North. ”

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