STOCKHOLM--(BUSINESS WIRE)--With the crucial climate change talks at COP22 in Marrakesh drawing to a close this week, a high profile group of youth activists, Nobel Laureates, award-winning actors and CEOs including Frank Wilczek, Nobel Prize Laureate in Physics; Jose Ramos-Horta, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate & former President of Timore Leste; Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever; Natalie Samarasinghe, Executive Director of the UN Association UK; Gunter Pauli, author of ‘The Blue Economy’; actor Kristin Scott Thomas; Golden Globe winner Oscar Isaac; Sigurlina Ingvarsdottir, Senior Producer, Star Wars Battlefront; Victoria Barrett, high school student currently suing the US Government for ignoring climate change; Parag Khanna, Senior Fellow at Lee Kuan Yew School and author, Connectography; Xavier Niel, founder of school 42 for coders; Idriss Aberkane, entrepreneur & academic; Olov Amelin, director of the Nobel Museum in Stockholm; Mathilde Imer, co-founder CliMates and Warn; Tim O’Reilly, founder of O'Reilly Media; Jill Filipovic, lawyer and author; and Felix Marquardt founder of think tank Youthonomics, have backed new campaign The Future Is Ours calling for the younger generation to be included in vital decisions on future carbon emission caps.
“Data from Nasa released earlier this year revealed that the global surface temperatures across land and ocean in February were 1.35 degrees Celsius warmer than any time since 1951,” says Victoria Barrett. “Now is the time to think creatively about the way forward. This year's major climate change conference, COP22 is an important opportunity and many political and business leaders as well as representatives of civil society seem eager to engage – but it is not enough.”
Whilst decision makers are gathering at COP22, The Future Is Ours proposes a decision is taken to let a new symbolic country take part in subsequent COPs to represent those under 30 worldwide, just as refugees were finally, deservedly allowed to compete under their own banner in the Rio Olympics. A mix of scientists, entrepreneurs, activists, heads of NGOs and politicians would form the delegation. This "country" could have the rights and responsibilities that come with the turf, and play a commensurate role in debates and negotiations.
Felix Marquardt, founder of think tank Youthonomics, says, “The Future Is Ours recognises young people are ready for a global system where democracy remains a guiding principle, but where a symbolic country like the one we have proposed that represents global youth, could join nation states in making vital decisions at future COPs. Like the characters in the Star Wars series, this generation does not care so much about country of birth or the colour of your skin but in shared values and vision. The future is theirs and it is incumbent upon us all to ensure their voices are heard. So now it’s time to give #StarWarsGen a real seat at the table at all future climate change talks.”
Frank Wilczek, American theoretical physicist, mathematician and a Nobel Laureate says, “with the global system of governance heavily reliant on territorial nation-states who inevitably represent their own national interest, who is representing humanity as a whole?”
Stuart McClure, President and CEO, Cylance, adds, “Current decision makers will be dead in 30 years and must recognise under 30s have a special right and role in representing in mankind's interest in our collective future. They need to be at the table, not on the sidelines, for discussions on carbon emissions caps that will affect their future. The future is ours. All of ours. Starting next year, let's give millennials an actual seat at the table of negotiations of our annual Conference of Parties.”
Full list of signatories:
Frank Wilczek, Nobel Prize Laureate in Physics
José Ramos-Horta, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate & former President of Timor Leste
Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever
Natalie Samarasinghe, Executive Director for the UN Association UK
Kristin Scott Thomas, actor
Stuart McClure, founder, President & CEO of Cylance
Oscar Isaac, Golden Globe winning actor starring in Star Wars - The Force Awakens
Sigurlína Ingvarsdóttir, Senior Producer, Star Wars Battlefront
Victoria Barrett, high school student suing the US Government for ignoring climate change
Parag Khanna, Senior Fellow at Lee Kuan Yew School and author, Connectography
Xavier Niel, founder of school 42 for coders
Idriss Aberkane, entrepreneur & academic
Felix Marquardt, founder of think tank Youthonomics and President of Cylance International
Camille Eddy, NASA Microgravity Undergraduate
Kazi Ateea, high school student & climate education activist
Jan Philipp Albrecht, spokesperson for Justice & Home Affairs of the Greens in the European Parliament
Emmanuelle Duez, founder of the Boson Project
Claire Nouvian, founder of Bloom
Gunter Pauli, author of ‘The Blue Economy’
Olov Amelin, director of the Nobel Museum in Stockholm
Mathilde Imer, co-founder CliMates and Warn
Tim O’Reilly, founder of O'Reilly Media
Jill Filipovic, lawyer and author
Notes to editors
About The Future Is Ours
The Future is Ours is a new campaign which calls for the younger generation, who have the biggest stake in our future, to be meaningfully represented at the table of negotiations in decision-making processes across a range of global issues. A central tenet is the absolute requirement of proportional representation of generations in all of these life-changing decisions, and climate change is most obvious place to start as the ramifications of policies made today will have a momentous impact on the future of young people across the world. Those currently in the driving seat are baby boomers most of whom will be dead in 30 years when the consequences of their decisions will be felt by those they leave behind.
In answer, The Future is Ours calls for a symbolic country representing global youth to be created that could take part in all decision making across a range of global issues.
This generation has a global outlook. Like the characters in the Star Wars series, they don’t care so much about country of birth or colour of skin but in shared values and vision. The future is theirs and it is incumbent upon us all to ensure their voices are heard.