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The European youth wake up call on climate action

While in December 2015, 195 countries agreed to fight climate change, keep temperature rise well below 2 degrees, and unleash actions and investments towards a low carbon, resilient and sustainable future, 2016 remains the year of implementation.

Indeed, the agreement needs to be ratified by at least 55 countries representing at least 55% of the global greenhouse gas emissions in order to become effective.

But, in the case of Europe, ratification does not only belong to the national Parliaments, the European Parliament, through the MEPs, also needs to confirm its support to the text.

However, the topic is highly sensitive as some EU members want to agree on how to share the efforts necessary to reach the 2030 targets before even talking about ratifying the agreement.

In such situation, where individual interests are taking over the common good, the momentum of the post COP21 agreement already seems like a distant memory.

But, this is exactly why European youth need to mobilize on climate action.

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Young Friends of the Earth Europe (https://www.flickr.com/photos/youngfoee/23174825299)

While today, many young Europeans still feel fairly disconnected to the impacts of climate change, due to the relative absence of concrete consequences so far, one would have to be blind not to see the rise of climate related initiatives such as students movements,the launch of start-ups creating technologies to reduce CO2 emissions or more generally the growing interest in climate and environmental issues amongst the younger generations.

However, these initiatives often remain local or national and there seems to be a lack of cross country, pan european inspired movements regarding climate change, even though, campaigns like these, such as the one regarding the Constitution for Europe in 2005, or the All different, All equal campaign targeting diversity and human rights were highly successful.

Therefore, I truly believe that mass european youth mobilization on climate action, even if still unreached, is likely to happen in the next few years, as long as it is catalysed by organizations that know both how to encourage local and national initiatives while having a European agenda and vision.

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Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/takver/22768098964

In these fragile times for Europe, when some countries are closing their borders while others want to leave the EU, it becomes more than necessary than ever for the European youth to unite on common issues such as climate change.

By showing a united front, above the national disparities and the political shenanigans going on in Brussels, they have the amazing opportunity to, not only put pressure on political leaders of over 28 countries, but also to reach out and campaign to almost 750 millions of people, amongst which, some of the biggest polluters on the planet.

Chloe Mikolajczak

About Chloe Mikolajczak

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