Montreal climate talks hold key to saving the world’s coral reefs

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    Blue Ventures has been represented in Canada this week during the writing of the United Nations’ Youth Declaration on Climate Change.

    Governments from 190 countries are meeting in Montreal, Quebec, for the United Nations Climate Negotiations, which hold the key to future action on tackling emissions of greenhouse gases and stabilizing the world’s climate.

    The negotiations take place against a backdrop of mounting evidence that climate change is already happening around the globe. The 10 hottest years on record globally have occurred since 1991, and in that same period global sea levels have risen by around 20cm. Global warming represents one of the most significant threats to marine environments and coral reefs worldwide.

    Blue Ventures is committed to raising awareness of the causal link between global warming and coral reef bleaching, a phenomenon which has been responsible for causing unprecedented levels of coral reef degradation throughout the world’s tropics and subtropics in recent years, and threatens the future survival of these critically important marine ecosystems. Effective global emissions reductions strategies will be fundamental to the survival of coral reefs – as well as many other vulnerable habitats around the world – in the face of global warming and other manifestations of climate change.

    During the climate talks, the first meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol – those countries which have signed up to the international treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the period 2008-20012, Alasdair Harris from Blue Ventures represented the United Kingdom in a global youth Delegation calling on governments to protect the earth from climate change.

    “As youth, we have the right to shape the world we live in. We are already taking steps in our own lives and communities to realize our vision and we demand that our leaders do the same,” states the declaration issued by the Delegation.

    At a high-level Ministerial session the Delegation called for minimum binding emissions reduction targets of 30% by 2020 and 80% by 2050 for developed countries; and implored governments for a just transition to a low-impact renewable energy future.

    “We are the ones who are going to have to bare the brunt of climate change impacts,” says Jessica Thiessen, the founder of the Arctic Council Youth Network from the Yukon. “This Summit shows that youth everywhere are already involved in climate protection. We are doing our part and we ask governments at the UN Climate Change Conference to do theirs,” says Catherine Mulinde, a PhD student from Uganda.

    Along with the rest of the world, Blue Ventures will watch the meetings in Montreal closely and hopes those in power will put aside their national agendas and finally force an end to global warming.

    We urge you to take the time to read the Climate Change Declaration, which can be downloaded from the BV website here, and to distribute this important message as widely as possible.