Youth Demand Democratic Solutions to Climate Crisis

A passionate group of youth activists from all continents spent the last week of July in intensive training to become Climate Ambassadors with the recently founded Center for United Nations Constitutional Research (CUNCR). Part of the training was held in the Mediterranean—a known climate hotspot.

Climate Democracy Summit attendees deliberate over what to include in the Epirus Declaration for Climate Democracy in Vitsa, Greece, July 2019. Photo by Andre Maraz.

Activists gathered in the Epirus mountains with leading legal scholars and CUNCR research fellows to exchange and develop humanitarian and democratic solutions to the climate crisis. In addition to training as Climate Ambassadors the group co-authored the Epirus Declaration (full text below) during a two-day hackathon calling for climate democracy and justice by means of a UN parliament and a world court for the environment.

“With just over a decade to end unsustainable relationships to the Earth, we need mechanisms to hold individuals, corporations, state representatives, and non-state actors accountable for climate crime. We also need global environmental law enforcement to achieve climate democracy and livable conditions for future generations,” says Christine Leclerc, a Climate Ambassador from Canada.

From left to right at Zagori Philoxenia Hotel in Vitsa, Greece: Camila Lopez Badra (Climate Ambassador, Argentina), Gator Halpern (Climate Ambassador, U.S.), Sebastiano Putoto (Young European Federalists), Christine Leclerc (Climate Ambassador, Canada), Yana Prokofyeva (Climate Ambassador, France), Hanna Cordeiro (Climate Ambassador, Brazil). Photo by Anna Bryanchaninova.

An ambitious action plan, including lobbying, networking, outreach, education, and fundraising was devised. The plan, once implemented, will significantly increase awareness of planetary citizens, politicians and academics on climate governance in the months to come.

Youth Climate Ambassadors demand system change, not climate change in Corfu, Greece.

Currently, nation states vote on global issues at the United Nations, rather than we the peoples. Democracy at the global level and a world court for the environment would give all peoples a voice and an accountability mechanism for emissions targets, for example. “We need global governance for issues of global impact, such as the climate crisis. That’s why I’ve signed on to the Epirus Declaration and encourage all in Canada to do the same,” says Leclerc.

Epirus Declaration for Climate Democracy

On 24th of July 2019 we planetary citizens, representing all the continents, have gathered to demand representation in global decision-making on challenges, such as the climate crisis, which affect us all. To achieve this we demand: the creation of a United Nations parliament representing everyone; an executive to complement this legislature; and, to ensure justice, the creation of a world court with the competency to prosecute environmental crimes, holding states, corporations, other non-state actors and individuals accountable with universal jurisdiction.

In a world of effective global governance, resources currently dedicated to national security must be redirected to global security, and in particular living sustainably on our planet. It should be a human right to enjoy a healthy environment, and our duty to protect the rights of the environment for the future generations.

As the legitimate forum to achieve these democratic ideals, we urgently demand that the San Francisco Promise be upheld to convene the United Nations Charter review and renewal process. 

Let “we the peoples” govern the world!

Expressions of support are welcome at Avaaz.org.

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