For Immediate Release
2 December 2015

Youth Action in Solidarity with Climate Vulnerable Forum


Aly Johnson-Kurts, SustainUS Press Secretary
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Paris, France – Youth leaders from a number of the most at-risk countries to climate change spoke at the United Nations COP21 today, demanding an ambitious and strong long term goal in the Paris Agreement. Their action is in support of the Climate Vulnerable Forum, an international partnership of countries highly vulnerable to a warming planet. The CVF adopted the Manila-Paris Declaration on Monday, which is the most unified call yet from UN member states for full decarbonization and 100% renewable energy by 2050 to keep warming below 1.5℃.

“Growing up in foothills of the Himalayas, I was 10 years old when I realised the urgency of climate action. I began to see the mountains melt, glacial lakes flood, and the human impacts of the climate crisis on the 2.3 million people who depend on it for fresh water and natural resources,” said Sagar Aryal, 20, from Nepal, Coordinator of Climate Strike and Founder of the Sano Sansar Initiative.

Young people wore circles of face paint around their right eye to symbolize 0 – zero fossil fuels by 2050, necessary to keep warming below 1.5℃. They demand this transition reflect the historical and current responsibility of developed countries to lead by commencing an immediate phase out of fossil fuels and providing finance and technology to aid developing nations. Another crucial tenet of the youth mandate is a just transition to renewable energy within countries, ensuring support for workers and fossil fuel dependent communities.

“For this goal to become a reality, developed countries must act first and fastest to eliminate carbon emissions. As American youth we call on the United States to transition to a renewable energy economy well in advance of the developing world.” said Dyanna Jaye, 23, COP21 Delegation Leader of SustainUS and an organizer of the event.


Notes to Editor:

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  2. Text of the Manila-Paris Declaration: