Ahmad Alhendawi, UN Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth

Ahmad Alhendawi, UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth

Ahmad explains that youth action; voices and power on climate change and at COP21 are crucial in the negotiations. His role at the UN is to ensure there are increasing avenues available for youth participation and tells Climate Home that today at COP21 is Youth Day. He explains that every national delegation at COP21 should include young people, as the negotiations need youth leaders who can put the issues into perspective. Ahmad says we need a transformative Paris agreement that will live up to the expectations of young people. This is because the livelihoods of young people especially in vulnerable communities are at stake. When asked how youth have power, he replies that youth can pressure the government; they have the power to vote, as mobilisers, as consumer’s and as innovators. Finally, he comments on the incredible youth call to action where 5000 young people attended last week’s Conference of Youth and explains that young people today are the first generation that could eradicate poverty but the last generation that can reverse climate change. Nobody has the right to gamble with the future of youth and future generations