New perspectives on Copenhagen – Youth demand answers

Youth-led Reporting from Copenhagen Summit
(Plan International reported in the INEE bi monthly newsletter

A group of 11 youth reporters from the UK, Indonesia, Kenya, Sweden and the Netherlands, supported by Plan International, attended the COP15 summit in December 2009. The young journalists had the opportunity to creatively and widely share their views on climate change via traditional and new media. They attended press conferences and interviewed key delegates from across the world, including Desmond Tutu, John Holmes, Wangari Maathai, and several presidents, scientists and activists.

According to Nick Hall, Plan UK’s Disaster Risk Reduction manager, “the young journalists asked smart, pointed questions and got the sort of answers that adult reporters often can only dream of. Who knows whether they’ve made a difference to the deal being thrashed out here, but they certainly have got to places and people demanding answers about their future that adult activists and reporters won’t have managed.”

It is important that the voices of children be part of the debate in Copenhagen. The effects of climate change on children are different than for adults – in particular for children’s survival, development and protection. Policies and strategies need to recognize this difference. Governments cannot hope to achieve the Millennium Development Goals unless they enable adaptation to climate change. In doing so, they must respond specifically to the needs and rights of children. For today’s children climate change means their future prospects – their employment options, their health, their chances of engaging in conflict over national resources and their rights and ability to adapt – are more uncertain than ever before.

For access to an interview with a youth reporter from Kenya and the Kenyan Minister of Environment, please click here.

To read some of the articles by the youth reporters, please click here.


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