Estonian youth represented at UN Youth Climate Summit

Kristi Klaas and Karl Ander Alexius at the UN Youth Climate Summit in New York.
Kristi Klaas and Karl Ander Alexius at the UN Youth Climate Summit in New York. Source: Ministry of the Environment

The Ministry of the Environment joined in with a United Nations goodwill initiative, which involves young people in the shaping of climate policy.

The initiative, called the The Kwon Gesh Youth Pledge, was launched at the weekend, at the UN Youth Climate Summit in New York.

Kristi Klaas, undersecretary for climate policy at the environment ministry, signed the pledge on behalf of Estonia, and the initiative was also supported by President Kersti Kaljulaid, who led the Estonian delegation at the UN climate summit, according to a ministry press release.

"Young people are concerned about the changing natural environment and they want decision makers to listen to them. With youthful enthusiasm, they call on the leaders to act quickly. But young people are right, because climate change needs to be acknowledged and decisive action taken today," said Klaas, who attended Monday's youth summit together with UN Youth Estonian delegate Karl Ander Alexius.

On June 5 2019, the Youth Environment Council ( Noorte Keskkonnanõukogu) was established in cooperation between the ministry and various Estonian youth organizations. The organization meets four times a year and constitutes an advisory body which aids the Ministry of the Environment in listening more to the voice of young people, as well as helping to get young people involved in legislation processes.

The youth climate summit in New York took place within the framework of the UN Climate Summit.

The latter was attended by 193 UN member states' heads of state or heads of government, and aims to present initiatives to help address climate change more effectively, according to the ministry press release.

A highlight of the youth summit was a keynote address by climate change activist Greta Thunberg.

President Kaljulaid is also in New York this week for the UN General Assembly's 74th session. Estonia starts its two-year stint on the UN's security council at the beginning of 2020.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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