We’ve been talking to a lot of international youth this week. I know that this movement is important to me. As a young person, clean energy is a matter of my health and the strength of the American economy, but that is nothing from what youth from the Global South have to deal with. This is about survival for them. They are depending on us, on Obama, to provide them with the emission reductions, money and resources for adaptation to protect them from the effects of climate change, and funds and technology to help them transition to a green economy. We have this. We could give them the tools for survival and to help our economy at the same time!
Right now $10 BILLION of our taxpayer money goes to subsidize the fossil fuel companies. President Obama promised that he “will work with my colleagues at the G20 to phase out fossil fuel subsidies so that we can better address our climate challenge.” My friends here do not have the time to wait for it to “phase out.” COP15 has already been stalled a few times because developing countries cannot afford to adapt without financial help. We can’t green ours without them.
When the US decides to make something a priority, it finds ways to fund it. We know that this is the moment of our generation and not just a priority, but a requirement for us to ensure survival.