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COP 24: What will you tell the children of the future?

Ruth Kaviok. Image source: Isuma Tv

Servindi, December 3, 2018.- What will you tell them? is the alarming question that Ruth Kaviok launched at the Climate Summit, in reference to the children of the future who will suffer the devastating impacts of climate change.

And the question is not born in the blank. Kaviok is a young indigenous from the Inuit people in Canada, who has already suffered the global warming ravages.

"I fear for my future, I fear for my community," said a 17-year-old from northern Canada to whom Kaviok quoted at the beginning of his speech at COP 24.

There are just two minutes for indigenous peoples from the world to intervene in the opening of the Climate Summit that began on Sunday, December 2 in Katowice, Poland.

Through Ruth Kaviok spoke not only the native peoples but, especially, the young indigenous people who shared their fears for the future.

They also expressed outrage at the increase in greenhouse gas production registered last year, which shows that the actions of the States are insufficient.

“We call upon the delegates to this COP to commit to a just transition to sustainable energy before it’s too late” for us and for yourselves.

“The children yet to come will look back on your actions at this critical moment and ask what you did to ensure a viable future for them”. What will you tell them?, concluded Kaviok.

Ruth Kaviok. Image source: Studentsonice.com

Fact:

- Ruth Kaviok represents the National Inuit Youth Council of Canada and Inuit Circumpolar Council and her speech was made on behalf of the International Forum of Indigenous Peoples on Climate Change.

The whole statement is below:

International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change

Opening Plenary Statement

24TH Conference of the Parties of The United Nations framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 24)

December 2, Katowice, Poland

Presented by Ruth Kaviok, National Inuit Youth Council of Canada and Inuit Circumpolar Council  

“I fear for my future. I fear for my community”.  These words were spoken by a 17-year old from the Salt River First Nation in Northern Canada during the first meeting of the Indigenous Peoples Caucus at COP 24 and he told about the diminishing traditional food and water sources and drastic weather changes already affecting his Peoples.  

Indigenous youth of the world stand before you today to affirm that we share his fears for our future.  We were outraged to read the recent Emissions Gap Report from UNEP, which stated that greenhouse gas production actually increased last year, indicating that current State actions to reduce emissions are falling far short of what is required to meet the essential 1.5 degree goal of the Paris Agreement.  The IPCC now predicts a temperature rise of 3 degrees or more at the current rate, which means two-to- three times higher in the Arctic.  This will be devastating for Indigenous Peoples in the Arctic and around the world.

Indigenous Peoples have been at the forefront in warning about the impacts of the unabated production of greenhouse gases by the fossil fuel-based energy economy. The recent fires in California demonstrate that we are not alone in facing relocation, loss of life and our communities. We call upon the delegates to this COP to commit to a just transition to sustainable energy before it’s too late for Indigenous Peoples, and for yourselves.

We have agreed to work with you to develop a new Platform for the protection and exchange of Indigenous traditional knowledge, based on equal participation, respect for our rights and recognition of the innovative and time-tested solutions we can offer to the world community.  We are committed to carry this through at COP 24.   

The children yet to come will look back on your actions at this critical moment and ask what you did to ensure a viable future for them. 

What will you tell them?    

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