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Nov 5, 2021

Young People Demand Action to Protect Their Future

Day five of the COP26 events saw youth and education taking center stage of the discussion, both inside and outside with protests in the streets of Glasgow. At the Scottish Event Campus where the official meetings were taking place, we found out more about the level of involvement of the youths in the discussions. News Five’s Duane Moody reports from Scotland.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Young people make up a large portion of the population vulnerable to the effects of climate change. They too want a seat at the discussion table.


Jason Salgado

Jason Salgado, Belizean Observer, COP26

“I am here as a youth delegate. I came to the conference of youth which is like the youth event before the COP. It is being organized by the International Youth Climate Movement which is like the official youth constituency of the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change. Being involved in this COP is an excellent opportunity to develop your professional skills and also about networking because I am here to connect with other people, other professionals from other parts of the world, other organizations that share similar interests or similar projects.”


Chevening scholar Jason Salgado is a student at the University of East Anglia pursuing a master’s degree in climate change and international development. Originally from San Juan Village in Stann Creek, he knows all too well about the effects of climate change.


Jason Salgado

“We are the heart of the banana industry. So San Juan/Cow Pen, we have three banana farms and we depend a lot on it. Let’s say more than half of the population in our village depends directly or indirectly from this industry. We have had in the past so many storms that have just wiped out the entire banana industry and then the crisis comes.”


Panamanian national Francesca Munoz is also an observer at COP6. While she was unable to join her fellow youth in a protest in central Glasgow, she says that it is important to also have a seat around the discussion table.


Francesca Munoz

Francesca Munoz, Youth Observer, COP26

“There’s quite a difference between having a diverse environment and having an inclusive environment. Here at the COP26, we have youth people – they have their own forums and their own spaces – however, how really is it diverse in that sense. We have one person among twenty others and they are barely even heard. I am here today representing the people who are outside right now rioting and it’s because I feel like they are not being heard enough and I am trying to find another platform in which I can have our message sent.”


Duane Moody

“Young people are demanding action to protect their future at the COP. COP President Alok Sharma is telling ministers and government leaders that the youth must be made a priority at the COP26 negotiations. Thousands of young people have converged also here on the grounds where their voices are being heard. And from what we understand, twenty-three countries have made national climate change education pledges including net-zero schools and putting climate at the heart of national curriculums.”


Orlando Habet

Orlando Habet, Minister of Sustainable Development, Climate Change & Disaster Risk Management


“It is very important for us to teach our children. When I was going to school, maybe half of our classes, especially during the summer, were done outside under a tree. And so when they tell you about this tree and the roots and the trunk and the stem and the branches and the leaves and transpiration and photosynthesis, you are seeing the tree out there and you are witnessing it – it is not only in the class. But we also have to make our students understand, our young people understand that nature is here for us. Today for us, tomorrow for them also. So what we do today will affect their lives so it is very important for them to get involved.”


Amongst the members of the Belize delegation in Glasgow is Summit Betancourt, an employee with the REDD+ Project. The technician has also been engaged in the discussions and presentations being made at the climate change conference.


Summit Betancourt

Summit Betancourt, Technician, REDD+ Project

“It’s an honor being here as part of the Belize delegation and actually fighting for developing countries like Belize who has always been a steward in terms of environmental conservation, but yet we are the ones feeling the brunt force of climate change impacts. And so our objective is to tell the developed nations that it is now time for us to stop talking, it is time for them to live up to their commitment and so we need to be here, we need to be a part of these sessions – make ourselves present, make ourselves heard.”


Duane Moody

“So as you’ve heard, young people are being engaged in the climate change discussion at all levels. Reporting from COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, Duane Moody for News Five.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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