To leaders at COP25, Dec 2019
A PLEA TO PARENTS AT THE CLIMATE SUMMIT
Our children are the greatest love of our lives. Despite this, they are being handed a broken world on the verge of climate chaos and ecological breakdown. As parents, seeing this is agonizing.
Climate-related disasters are happening right now and children are losing their lives, their health and their futures because of climate chaos. From tropical cyclones in Africa and Asia and flooding and mudslides across parts of Europe and Brazil to raging fires made worse by drought in California and in Australia; families and communities in every corner of the world are being affected. The Greenland ice sheet is melting at never-before-seen rates, and a state of climate emergency is rapidly becoming the new normal.
We write this plea as parents – to delegates of the UN climate summit in Madrid, COP25 who will be negotiating on behalf of us and our children.
This UN climate summit is a crucial opportunity to come together to demand ambitious climate action in line with keeping global temperature rise below 1.5C. With every passing minute of political inaction, the climate crisis deepens, risking the lives, health and future of more children. We are at a critical junction in time, where every tonne of carbon emitted takes us closer to dangerous climate tipping points which could unravel human civilization within our own and our children’s lifetimes.
Powerful vested interests like the coal, oil and gas industries – fighting to keep their business model alive – are using their power and influence to obstruct the necessary political action. Current political commitments put us on track to a catastrophic 3–4C global temperature rise.
We cannot accept that this is the world we are handing over to our children.
Public demand for action is at an all-time high and science has never been more clear about what’s at stake if we don’t embrace the solutions that already exist, stop burning fossil fuels and transform our societies. Millions of children have led the way with the school-strikes in showing resolve to fight the pending catastrophe and now we, the parents, are also rising up to protect all our children and demand climate action. Together we will do whatever it takes to protect them. Addressing the climate crisis is not the responsibility of our children – it’s our job as adults and parents to act to try to give our children the future that they deserve.
We are at a turning point in the story of our species and you, the delegates of this influential UN climate summit, have an opportunity to choose what happens next. We demand a safe future for our children – for all children – and for future generations. To secure that we need decisive action in Madrid.
We are looking to the delegates of this summit to show brave leadership and act together rather than waiting for individual countries to lead. If we all jump at once – onto a new path – it will be safer for everybody. This is a moment of hope that must not be wasted.
Many of the delegates at COP 25 are also parents and we appeal to these delegates in particular. These delegates are parents who, due to their professional skills, are capable of being real heroes for all the children of the world.
So, our appeal to delegates is to take those minutes right before making a decision at the summit and stop, close your eyes and picture your children’s faces. Then envision the future you want for your grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Will you do what it takes to make this future a reality for our children who will inherit the earth?
We know that you can and we trust that you will.
Parent and family groups, please add your organisation’s name to this declaration and join our global effort