Children from African and Latin American countries on Wednesday spoke at an event at the COP28 climate summit taking place in Dubai.
The children warned that their future is in danger and asked leaders to act quickly to tackle climate change.
“The future of children is in danger,” said 13-year-old Revan Ahmed from Libya. “We are here to defend our future because climate change is not caused by us, it’s caused by previous generations, but we paid the price and are still paying the price. So it’s our right to defend our future and to demand an end to climate change.”
Ahmed mentioned the floods which devastated the Libyan city of Derna earlier this year, killing over 11,000 people.
Meanwhile, 13-year-old Lova Renee says her home country of Madagascar has been hit badly by climate change and that children are severely affected.
“In Madagascar, we have a drought and many children don’t have water, don’t have food, and (end up) dead, and don’t have hope,” said Renee.
The children spoke at the halfway mark of the summit, as negotiators prepare for a final week of talks which environmentalists hope will lead to commitments on the phasing out of fossil fuel use.
In the summit’s first week, some progress was made, notably with the creation of a “loss and damage” fund to compensate countries hit by climate disasters.
Fifty oil companies pledged to reach near-zero methane emissions by 2030, a commitment from the industry to slash greenhouse gases, but short of what is required, according to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.