Activism & Volunteering

“We reject this text. We condemn this deal.” - Youth respond to outcomes of the climate talks

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After 2 weeks of negotiations, 48 non-stop hours of procrastination and closed talks in the chilly halls of the conference center in Doha, Qatar, a deal was (literally) hammered out at the end of extra time at COP18. But young people have condemned the text as “a deal founded only on promises that progress might materialise in the future”. We bring you all the reactions and first-look analysis of the text and how it was bizarrely passed.

Young people are still reeling in shock after the texts on the table at the UN climate talks in Doha were passed in 30 seconds of gavelling by the chair, with no room for discussion or comment.

Initially it was unclear that the Doha package has indeed been accepted, such was the haste with which it was passed. But as realisation dawned, youth became outraged.

Young people gathered after the deal was passed to tell negotiators “We reject this text. We condemn this deal.” Credit: Sophia Robinson

We as young people condemn a deal in which the USA and Canada continue to obstruct progress and refuse to commit to their moral responsibility of reducing carbon emissions drastically.

We condemn a deal in which the only legally binding targets for carbon emissions cuts from developed countries responsible for historical emissions are from Europe and Australia, who only contribute to 15% of global emissions. And even those targets are woefully weak.

We condemn a deal which is locking us into a 3-5 degree temperature rise, which will drown small island states and drastically reduce standards of living for our children and future generations.

We condemn a deal in which the fund for financing adaptation to the devastating impacts of climate change that are being felt right now lies empty.

We condemn a deal founded only on promises that progress might materialise in the future.

We need action now.

Representatives from the ENGO (envrionmental NGOs), TUNGO (trade unions) and YOUNGO (youth) speak at the closing plenary to reject the text.

A representative of small island states said “Those who are obstructive need to talk not about how their people will live, but whether our people will live.”

Young people are not giving up on the process itself. Rejecting the text is not a rejection of the process. We recognise that the UNFCCC is the best forum for all countries to come together and discuss a global solution, and for those who are most vulnerable to climate change to have their concerns heard. We will continue to support the Philippines and other like-minded countries in their efforts to promote needed finance and support.

But we will not continue to support empty deals. We reject this text.

Over the coming weeks we at will be analysing the details of the Doha package in relation to what young people wanted to see, and looking at how we can move forward over the next year to ensure the UN process will deliver the outcome we need.