8-year-old British-Indian calls for faster 'transitioning away' from fossil fuels to save children

An eight-year-old British Indian, one of the youngest attendees at the recently-concluded COP28 in Dubai, has called for faster and target-based transitioning away from fossil fuels to safeguard the future of children, especially in the Global South.
Faster 'Transitioning Away:- An eight-year-old British Indian, one of the youngest attendees at the recently-concluded COP28 in Dubai, has called for faster and target-based transitioning away from fossil fuels to safeguard the future of children[IANS]
Faster 'Transitioning Away:- An eight-year-old British Indian, one of the youngest attendees at the recently-concluded COP28 in Dubai, has called for faster and target-based transitioning away from fossil fuels to safeguard the future of children[IANS]

Faster 'Transitioning Away:- An eight-year-old British Indian, one of the youngest attendees at the recently-concluded COP28 in Dubai, has called for faster and target-based transitioning away from fossil fuels to safeguard the future of children, especially in the Global South.

Sustainability advocate Moksha Roy, who began her campaign for a better Earth when she was just three, urged leaders of the Global North to go beyond and above their own interests to help the Global South.

"As a child growing up in the Global North, I do not want to inherit a fractured and devastated world -- with no proper shelter, water shortage, food insecurity and zero peace or justice," Moksha, who won the British Prime Minister’s Points of Light award this year for several sustainability initiatives, said.

"Failing to achieve a target-based transition from fossil fuels urgently, will be a violation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. If we don't transition away from fossil fuels fast enough, children, especially from the Global South will be deprived of their basic rights to live and thrive in a safe and secure environment," she said.

Over 2.4 billion children around the world are bearing the brunt of the climate crisis that is taking lives, depriving children of their rights and threatening their future, according to Save the Children.

Unicef says that the climate crisis is a child rights crisis as children are less able to survive extreme weather events, and are more susceptible to toxic chemicals, temperature changes, and diseases.

Having interacted with leaders and organisations at COP28, Moksha emphasised that more representation is needed from children of the Global North at COPs to ensure that they are aware of the hard realities faced by their counterparts in the Global South.

"When children from the developed countries are included in climate conversations they will become leaders and ambassadors of positive change, tomorrow. Maybe, only then we will have a fair and equal world with fewer divisions amongst its leaders," the young climate warrior said.

In 2022, Moksha's message to world leaders at COP27 to become “truly, really, super selfish to save the planet” was passed on to the COP27 Presidency by the UK Government, to be shared with world leaders.

Moksha started advocating against microplastic pollution, and her initiative was supported by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the UN task force, earning her the distinction of being the world’s youngest sustainability advocate at the age of three.

At five, she wrote letters to 193 world leaders, urging them to introduce the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into their national curriculums, to ensure children can learn about the SDGs and then act on major global issues ranging from climate change, gender inequality to plastic pollution.

The United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) closed on Wednesday with nearly 200 countries agreeing to a landmark agreement that called for a transition away from fossil fuels, the primary reason for the climate crisis.

She met the UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at 10 Downing Street just before he departed for COP28 and discussed her plans for the summit.

Scientists have indicated that a 1.5 degree global temperature limit can only be achieved with urgent phasing-out of fossil fuel. According to Centre for Big Synergy, a London-based non profit, while the Global South's reliance on fossil fuels has been discussed widely at COP28, it is no comparison to the inaction, and lack of funds or technology offered by the Global North to the Global South to go green.

"This is something that the COP28 deal does not stress on enough, as well. The small island nations are on the brink of extinction. The inaction of the giant global corporations and oil-producing counties is nothing more than a death sentence to the people of these countries and is an act of utmost disregard for the rights of children in the Global South," it said.

The Civil Society Equity Review said in its recent report that rich countries need to pay Global South at least US$209 billion annually to phase out fossil fuels. IANS/SP

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