Plant-for-the-Planet Childrenīs Initiative
- Date submitted: 28 Oct 2011
- Stakeholder type: Major Group
- Submission Document: Download
- Additional Document:
Plant-for-the-Planet Childrenīs Initiative
Our ?3-Point-Plan to save our future?
We, young people ? 3 billion of the world population ? are concerned and frustrated that our
governments and business leaders are not doing enough to save our future. We feel that
radical and holistic measures are needed urgently from us all.
We now need more actions and less talking.
Climate crisis and poverty are interlinked and affect us all. We need to find efficient ways to
cope with it, adapt to it and take action to stop it.
We note that climate change is leading to loss of natural resources and makes it difficult to
achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Climate change has serious consequences not
only for ecosystems, but also for human health, job security and social development.
Together we can make a difference.
We, the children, are leaders of the next generation, will take action, and urge the people all
over the world to take action as well with our ?3-Point Plan to Save Our Future.?
1. Put carbon in the museum.
We absolutely need to get our CO2 emissions levels down to zero by 2050. The technology
for such a CO2-free future already exists. With today?s engineering capabilities we can easily
make the transition to 100% renewable energy (without the need for nuclear power) by 2050.
2. Put poverty into the museum through climate justice.
In order to stop the predicated warming of 2°C, which the heads of government already
promised to do in Copenhagen, a maximum of just 600 billion tons of CO2 can be emitted
until the year 2050. If we emit more than this, the temperature will rise higher than 2°C thus
causing the ice on Greenland to melt and mean sea levels to rise by as much as 7 meters.
600 billion tons divided by 40 years leaves an allowance of 15 billion tons per year. In 2010,
31 billion tons of CO2 were emitted, more than double the allowance! One of the major
problems as we kids see is that it is often the people in the poorer regions who suffer most
from the consequences of climate change. This is despite the fact that they have done the
least to cause it. Considering this, we believe that the 15 billion tons allowance of CO2 per
year must be fairly shared amongst all the worlds? citizens. For us children there is only one
solution: everybody gets the same. This would mean 1.5 tons of CO2 per person, per year.
But how does this help to solve the problem of global poverty? On average an American
citizen emits around 20 tons of CO2 per year and a European citizen emits around 9 tons. In
comparison, people in Africa emit on average only 0.25 tons per year. Our proposal: The
people in the rich countries, who want to emit more CO2, must buy the rights from those who
emit less. This is our principle for climate justice. With the money that the people in the
poorer countries earn they can then invest in agriculture, education, health and more. They
will also have an incentive to invest in renewable energy technologies so that they can
maintain the right to sell their CO2 emission allowance. This will also stop them from making
the same senseless mistakes that we in the West have.
3. Planting 1,000 billion trees.
As both a symbolic and a practical action for climate justice it is our goal to plant 1,000 billion
trees, or 1 trillion trees, around the world. These trees will absorb an additional 10 billion tons
of CO2 every year! While this may sound like an enormous amount, we know that if we work
together it is achievable!
In China alone 2.7 billion trees were planted in 2009 as a contribution to the UNEP-Billion
Tree Campaign. If every person on our earth would plant 150 trees over the next ten years
we would reach our target of 1,000 billion trees by 2020. And if it?s not possible for a country
to plant trees in its own area, it can support the planting of trees in southern countries. With a
bit of effort our target is definitely achievable.
Of course we know that we can?t stop climate change just by planting trees. But by planting
1,000 billion trees in the next 10 years this will help to absorb more CO2 and give us a kind of
?time-joker? or buffer so that we have a bit more time to get our act together and really start
reducing our carbon emissions. Considering that from 2009 to 2010 we actually increased
emissions by 5%, instead of decreasing them, it is clear that we still have a lot to do. If we
continue to increase our carbon emissions by 5% every year we will have used up our 600
tons budget, and caused the climate to rise by 2C, by 2024. Alternatively if we continue with
the same rate of emissions as in 2010, we will have hit the 600 billion tons mark by 2029.
These statistics are highly concerning and this is why we also consider each tree that we
plant to be a symbolic action sending a clear message that we need to take action against
climate change today.
While Plant-for-the-Planet is essentially a children?s initiative we know that we will need some
help from the adults if we are going to achieve our goals. This is why we have sent our ?3-
point-plan? to the heads of governments all around the world.
1,000 billion trees we children cannot manage alone we need help of the adults. But we
children have already started and are planting one million trees in every country on earth.