Beyond Rhetoric: Youth Leadership on Climate Action, Masterclass by Climate Asia

The history of Climate Summits was another significant focus of the session.

Last weekend, Climate Asia conducted a masterclass on “Beyond Rhetoric: Youth Leadership on Climate Action” with Durlabh Ashok (World Economic Forum). 

The session underlined the understanding of climate change, low-carbon development, and global warming, and special attention was drawn to unpacking COP27.

It also covered the theme of Indonesia’s National Action Plan on Climate Change, Environment Policies and Agreements, and pertinent historical facts about climate change.

A briefing on the outcomes of COP27 preceded the session. It was emphasized that the conference was like the Paris Agreement as there was still no mention of fossil fuels. 

The silver lining, however, was the attention to the ‘loss and damage fund.’  Additionally, this year the UAE delegation agreed to include young people and children in the climate action, which was considered an important step for climate awareness and mitigation. 

Following an overview of the 2023 summit, Ashok brought up another crucial area for discussion: the distinctions between climate change, low-carbon development, and global warming—a few terms that are frequently used interchangeably yet are very distinct from one another.

In order to make the discussion more engaging, he also posed questions to the audience about how they are contributing towards worsening climate change. Fast fashion, stubble burning, air travel, and other subjects were mentioned in the responses. 

Regarding fast fashion, he said how it takes 20,000 liters of water to make one pair of pants. Additionally, he advised everyone to calculate their carbon footprint because it might help track individual contributions to climate action.

The history of Climate Summits was another significant focus of the session. Durlabh called attention to the important climate meetings, beginning with the 1992 Rio convention.  In addition to the Paris Agreement, other significant climate treaties were highlighted, including the COP15 in Copenhagen, which established the idea of common but differentiated responsibilities, and The Kyoto Protocol, which is the first and only binding treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

As a case study, Durlabh used three nations—Australia, Indonesia, and Malaysia—to demonstrate each nation’s efforts to tackle climate change. In a relatively small country Indonesia, the idea of RANPI, also known as Yellowbook, is used to promote multi-sectoral coordination efforts. 

The topic of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and chlorofluorocarbons, was also touched upon. Extreme climatic trends, including sea level rise, high temperatures, and unusual rain, are now occurring more frequently than ever owing to the overuse of these gases.
In a question regarding the technologies used for the removal of Carbon dioxide, Durlabh expressed his “love-hate relationship” with such technologies explaining how it can’t be a panacea to solving the problem. He instead emphasized the more accessible alternative, Forestation, which is not only low-cost but also climate-friendly. 
The need to educate youth and children about climate change was mentioned as the session ended. Durlabh closed by saying, “We are in control of climate change; we are the problem, so cut down, reuse, recycle, walk and change.” 
Climate Asia is a nonprofit dedicated to strengthening the climate ecosystem in Asia through the capacity building of organizations focusing on talent strategy, capacity building, and thought leadership.
This article was shared with Prittle Prattle News as a Press Release.
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