Bangladesh Youth COP seeks a solution for climate change and it is impressive that young people from every corner of Bangladesh are thinking about the whole world, said Saber Hossain Chowdhury, member of Parliament, Dhaka-9 constituency.
"Climate Change is an agenda of young people, by the young people and for the young people. It is high time young people led from the forefront, their voices are heard and acted upon," he said in his speech as the chief guest in the closing session of "Bangladesh Youth COP 2022".
"I think, even though they are the front liners, their concerns are not reflected and often remain unheard at the policy-making level. We try to reflect on the youth voice and their recommendations in COP and engage them progressively,'' he added.
Brighters Society of Bangladesh, with the support of ActionAid Bangladesh, organised the virtual two-day long pre-COP conference on 17 and 18 September to foster climate negotiation and youth voice at the global level.
Jannatul Maoua, a representative of the youth community at the conference, stated that there was no progress in addressing issues faced by women affected by climate change and improving their situation at the COP 26 conference. This issue must be seriously considered in COP 27. There should be special allocations of support for women affected by climate change.
Urging youth to be the one being represented at COP 27, International Children's Peace Prize winner and youth icon Greta Thunberg as a special guest said, "The voices in this world having most powers belong to the ones who are destroying it. If we continue like today, COP 27 will just be yet another chance for them to pollute the world. We cannot let that happen one more time."
UN Resident Coordinator Gwyn Lewis stated, "There are lots of plans and places to mitigate and adapt. The voices of young people are being reflected and integrated into these plans. Now we need action. We need to know young people's perspectives on climate issues.''
Prof Saleemul Huq, director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development, said, "Polluters of the world must agree and pay to the sufferers of pollution. Young people need to act as leaders and activists to advocate and engage others.''
In the opening session, Ziaul Hasan, former secretary, ministry of environment, forest, and climate change, said, "The youth community should be engaged in the process so that they can be the bridge between the people from the grassroots levels and policymakers."
Farah Kabir, country director of ActionAid Bangladesh, said erratic weather behaviour and the dramatic climate change puts young people at risk; therefore, young people want to understand what's happening, how they can deal with climate change, and how their voices, their concerns can be taken to COP 27.
"I believe, it can draw the attention of the international community, and national-level policymakers through the conference and establish a bridge between policymakers and youth advocates so that not a single problem is ignored," she added.