Children at the climate talks? Ban Ki-moon talked the other night about a boy he met in Tuvalu who told Ban he can’t sleep at night because he’s so worried about floods from rising seas, the result of global climate change. Adam Ole Mwarabu who’s a Maasai from Tanzania and a partner in Brighter Green’s collaborative girls’ leadership initiative and who’s here in Durban for COP 17, told me he suggested to delegates that children be accredited to attend these climate conferences. “How old?” I asked. He said from young to youth, including adolescents. The point, of course, is that the decisions made or unmade in Durban will affect kids’ lives much more than they will those of all the adults here. There are a number young people around, but they’re not kids: more likely in their early 20s.
I like Adam’s idea, although what it might do to a kid’s spirit to spend two weeks at a conference like this is anyone’s guess. But perhaps their being here really would change the dynamic, and we could all leave a COP more sanguine about the present, and the future. In the meantime, please take a look at this slideshow of the Kenyan girls in the leadership program whom I met last month. They had a lot to say about global warming, and leadership. If the future’s in their hands, I’m not quite as dubious about our prospects.
Photo by weifly