(City of Belmopan, Belize) Executive Director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), Dr Colin Young, believes that “young people are going to inherit the most climate unjust planet in the history of mankind”. He conveyed this position to a group of energetic youths from across the Caribbean who will debate a resolution calling for strong action on climate change and climate justice for Caribbean citizens this Thursday, September 23rd.
The special parliament, to be held virtually, is organized by SOLORICON in collaboration with the Caribbean Climate Justice Project and the Caribbean Regional Youth Council (CRYC). The CCCCC is a premium sponsor of the initiative.
During a recent discussion with the debaters, Dr Young, reassured the youth that their voices and opinions are important to policy decision making about climate change, noting that “a lot of the issues we face not only within our countries, but also in the world, are [a result of] policy failures”. According to Dr Young, some policies and laws have resulted in “a set of actions that are harming the environment, harming humans, harming biodiversity and in this case, causing large amounts of greenhouse gases to enter the atmosphere”. Recognising the importance of the regional youth parliament, he supported the move to provide the young people with a platform to lend their voices to the climate change debate, “young people who are going to suffer the consequences of these policy failures need to be given a voice to be able to indicate to governments what they feel about what is happening in their countries”.
The virtual conversation with the regional youth provided the opportunity for them to question the CCCCC’s leader on the work of the CCCCC in various areas related to climate change. In specific context to working with the region’s youth, he informed them that “the CCCCC has had a long history of including youth in its climate awareness considerations. In the past, we have provided scholarships through grants to ensure that young people, young climate technicians, and climate researchers are trained. We continue to provide opportunities for young people to be able to analyze climate data and secure a forum in which to present the data.”
Dr Young promised the youth during their discussions that the CCCCC plans to increase its activities to help them participate in some of the decision-making as it relates to their future. “In fact”, Dr Young noted, “We jumped at the opportunity to partner with Dr. James Fletcher [of SOLORICON] on this particular initiative, and we also plan to do many more with the Caribbean Youth Environment Network (CYEN), and in the development of communication products to increase the awareness of youth.”