Young climate activists, members of the “Fridays for Future” movement on Friday presented their joint demands for keeping global warming under 1.5°C at the end of a five-day meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The meeting marked the first time that the teenagers and young adults, inspired by the example of Sweden’s Greta Thunberg – also present – had the opportunity to meet and discuss their movement’s future.
The 450 participants came from all over Europe – from Ireland to Russia, and from Scandinavia to Spain – and beyond.
They adopted, by consensus, the “Lausanne Climate Declaration” and three joint demands: “ensure climate justice and equity”; “keep the global temperature rise below 1.5°C compared to pre-industrial levels” and “listen to the best united science currently available,” according to a press release from the meeting.
The document is a “non-binding declaration,” the press release explained, since the youths did not represent their respective countries.
Belgian climatologist Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, former Vice-Chairman of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), encouraged the youths, who were scheduled to stage a demonstration in Lausanne in the afternoon, to keep up their good work.
Van Ypersele was among the many experts from various countries who supported the young participants, giving presentations at the plenaries, providing scientific information for the some 60 workshops organised during the five-day event, and working on questions raised by participants.
The movement “Youth for climate” was created after Greta Thunberg began staging a weekly school strike for the climate last year.
A new global strike is scheduled for September to coincide with a UN summit on climate change in New York.