The international youth delegation at COP14 in Poznan had a simple, but powerful message to communicate: survival is not negotiable.
Global youth asked all countries to commit to a global climate treaty that ‘safeguards the survival of all countries and peoples’. This principle, which became known as ‘The Survival Principle’, is also called for by the world’s most climate-vulnerable nations: those in the Alliance of Small Island States and the Least Developed Countries, who are also the least responsible for causing the problem.
If a nation commits to and acts in accordance with the ‘Survival Principle’, they must do more, faster, to mitigate and adapt to dangerous climate change. The science is now clear that in order to ensure the survival of all nations, and all cultures or peoples, a global climate treaty must aim to stabilize atmospheric concentrations of CO2-e well below 350ppm, and must also ensure that robust funding and support is provided to the first-affected nations, to enable them to adapt to a climate that has already been changed by the first- industrialized nations.
Within three days at Poznan, 90 nations signed on to the Survival principle, as well as notable leaders on climate change such as Dr Rajendra Pachauri and Lord Nicholas Stern. If nations who have signed on to the Survival Principle then go on to sign a global climate treaty that does not satisfy the minimum criteria for Survival of the most vulnerable among us, we the global youth will hold them to account.