The Indian Youth Summit on Climate Change 2008

There will undoubtedly be more to share regarding the Indian Youth Summit on Climate Change in the weeks to come — video and more reflections are still in the works — but now that some photos are ready I thought I’d share the news of this fantastic event…

From Kerala to Kashmir, Rajasthan to West Bengal, and beyond, over a 150 Indian youth (and a few foreign friends, like me) came to Hyderabad on August 7 – 10 to spark the youth climate movement in India. It worked — the Indian youth movement is now kicking into high gear with enormous potential and energy.

This was an extraordinary assembly of young people. Everyone among them had stories to share of melting glaciers, struggling farmers, communities already facing the harsh impacts of climate change, and more. Not only did they speak to the realities of the present climate as well as future threats, but they also had countless stories to share of the work they are already doing to create postive change in their communities and countries.

Infosys 350Inspired by one another’s energy, knowledge, and hope they envisioned and began plotting for a youth movement strong enough to lead India towards a safe climate and equitable climate. Central to that vision is a world that achieves an atmosphere with no more than 350 ppm CO2 in the atmosphere. The challenge of that goal was not treated lightly. The group understood the real needs of the Indian population to overcome poverty and improve their standard of living. And to achieve that, they recognized the need for equitable finance systems to fund clean development and a comprehensive action plan for both the country and the world — all put into place in a few short years.

Rather than despair at the daunting task before them, the participants recognized the enormous opportunities for India in the path to creating a more stable climate and just society. The youth of India (some 75% of the population, counting all people below the age of 35), see the potential for a clean economy that will also lift people out of poverty. It will require real commitment from the Indian government, international cooperation, and community involvement, but with the conviction of the youth at this summit and all the many groups involved, there is ample reason to believe we will see this through.

Click here for more information about the event. Video coming soon.

 

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