Speaking Up, Speaking Out

–the Asian youth voice

by

TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER 1 ― BACKGROUND SECTION 1.1 – OBJECTIVES SECTION 1.2 – PREFACE
1.2.1 – THE ASIAN BODY 1.2.2 – WHAT IT IMPLIES 1.2.3 – OUR VOICE

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SECTION 1.3 –THE WORLD LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE 2009 IN DETAIL CHAPTER 2 ― OUR STATEMENT SECTION 2.1 – WE DESERVE A LOW-CARBON ECONOMY SECTION 2.2 – THE CURRENT SITUATION SECTION 2.3 – WHAT HAS BEEN LACKING SECTION 2.4 – TARGETS – WHAT WE ENVISION CHAPTER 3 ― SPEAKING UP – STEPS NEEDED SECTION 3.1 – ADOPTION OF APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY SECTION 3.2 – STRENGTHENING OF LAWS SECTION 3.3 – ENHANCE TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER SECTION 3.4 – GOVERNMENT LEADERSHIP SECTION 3.5 – SYNERGISTIC RELATIONSHIPS SECTION 3.6 – INTEGRATION OF EDUCATION SECTION 3.7 – RECRUITMENT OF NGOS SECTION 3.8 – AGGRESSIVE INTERNATIONAL ACTION CHAPTER 4 ― SPEAKING OUT – CLOSING WORD

6 7 8 9 10 12 14 14 15 18 21 23 25 26 27 29

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interest

passion

action

BACKGROUND | WHO WE ARE
The combined youth statement is a document that will be traveling to various conferences engaging youth to inputs their position for a low carbon future of what they want from their government. The document will eventually bring together 5,000 youth positions, views and support to be presented at the UNFCCC Copenhagen negotiations. This document challenges youths to come up with refreshing solutions to tackle age-old environmental economic problems faced by world leaders. Throughout the course of the conference, participants engaged in intellectual discourse with a multitude of leaders and experts in varying fields related to environmental economics. The various youth conference that this document will travel to will provide a platform for participants from across the globe to actively engage in open-minded, cross-cultural exchange of ideas with their peers; allowing them to work together to foster effective long-term solutions to existing environmental and economic issues.

OBJECTIVES | OUR AIM
This position paper wraps up the proceedings of the conference in Singapore, and marks the beginning of an unprecedented youth effort that will see this paper traverse many countries as youths gathering at subsequent youth environmental conferences and summits in 2009 add on their contributions to this very paper. Collectively, we seek to strengthen the youth voice and make a strong statement of intent by the youths at COP15 in Copenhagen, 2009, that the youths are registering their strong disquiet with the stagnation of efforts on the environmental front due to the impasses attributed to a mere lack of political will and unnecessary politicking. Every chance to make an improvement that is wasted implies that the youths of today continue to face the consequences of inaction by political leaders. This is blithely oblivious to the impending environmental catastrophe, one that the youths will inherit in the future.

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Every chance to make an improvement that is wasted implies that the youths of today continue to face the consequences of inaction by political leaders.

This paper consolidates the youth voice, representing the show of solidarity by Asian youth as we rally to impress upon the global community to display leadership that is forthcoming and robust, to reinforce the need to seal a new and groundbreaking climate pact in Copenhagen, and to remind them that the future of the youth tomorrow is created by the actions of the leaders today.

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PREFACE | THE CONTEXT

THE ASIAN BODY | ASIAN DIVERSITY
The Asian youth body represents the microcosm of cultural backgrounds and native experiences that span across the entire region. This region can hardly be represented by any one generalization alone; to speak of the Asian region would be to invoke the vastly differing states of development and the different customs, habits and manner of life of each nation and culture.

WHAT IT IMPLIES | THE WAY AHEAD
It is precisely this diversity that has contributed to its success as an economic body. The Asian region is a thriving place of commerce, and looks poised to increase its scale of economic activity greatly over the next few decades as its economies mature. In tandem with this, however, it is becoming increasingly clear that as development revs up, the integrity of the environment and its protection has to be factored into the developmental quotient, or risk incurring an ecological debt that places the quality of human life and the needs of subsequent generations at grave peril. There needs to be a consolidated effort to confront the environmental issues that are plaguing societies, particularly in this sphere of the world. The diversity that characterizes the Asian body makes it certain that there can be no one common model of development and no one common solution to the environmental problems, just some common problems, and above all, the common need to tackle these issues for posterity. Where recognition of this need has lagged behind, it is timely to address this, and develop a common platform whereby there can be conducive discussion and sharing on the steps forward, with regard to guiding principles that should underlie policy adoptions and institutional framework adjustments. The Asian diversity necessitates individualized solutions.

OUR VOICE | ASIAN SOLIDARITY
Hence this is a first step towards crystallizing the solidarity of the Asian body, driven by Asian youth, to embrace a more inclusive and participatory medium of exchange. This paper embodies the shared determination of all Asian youth to tackle the particular issues that are facing their countries and the region; in this paper the solidarity of Asian youth is displayed, as well as the strength of voice that comes from consensus reached and common goals shared over the course of the formation of the combined youth statement.

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Looking ahead, youths can expect to take back this paper to their respective countries, acting as pivot points for their respective countries by spearheading local initiatives on the ground where they can, or by submitting this paper to government officials to share the outcomes of the consolidation process so that the importance of environmental leadership by young people is reinforced. Furthermore, by catalyzing discussion and action in society, this can be a forerunner of many more transnational dealings that will enhance the adoption of best practices and pave the way for further solutions. At the same time, this is just the beginning of the long journey this paper is destined to travel, all the while gathering momentum as youths throw their weight behind the call for a new age of environmental leadership, one that transcends all political ideologies and geographical boundaries. We invite everyone to join us.

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THE WORLD LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE 2009 | IN DETAIL
The conference was marked by the adoption of 6 thematic issues for further discussion and analysis, with invited experts in these areas giving talks about the complexities each issue entailed, and carefully chosen site visits that concur with these issues to enable a more holistic discussion and enriching conference.

CLOSING THE FEEDBACK LOOP
Keeping in mind the unique characteristics that define the region, the choice of the topics of waste management and resource depletion seeks to meet the need for more considered use of environmental resources even as society’s escalating demands continue to accentuate the need to draw upon available raw materials. These two topics aim to close the feedback loop, from reducing consumption, to reducing waste production and enhancing the proper handling of waste to maximize their uses and exemplify the “cradle-to-cradle” concept.

INNOVATING FOR THE FUTURE
Hand-in-hand with this is the nascent field of green technology, a widely-encompassing term that promises to deliver unprecedented benefits to society in mitigating existing crises and extracting a maximum amount of benefit from the constrained environment and resource situation. In fact, the choice also of alternative energy sources as another topic seeks to be complementary both to the idea of green technology as well as to the emergent efforts made globally to develop new energy sources and increase their uptake as viable alternatives to the present reliance on fossil fuels.

GRASSROOTS AND INSTITUTIONAL SUPPORT
Lastly, to make the connections between industry and society, the choice of the final two topics of environmental law, as well as education and environmental awareness, will tie up seamlessly with the other themes, as they involve ensuring that enhanced methods and technologies are complemented by more supportive and nuanced attitudes towards environmentalism and conservation from the population. Environmental law is a crucial aspect of harnessing the improved technologies and methods by laying down a favorable framework of regulations and policies, while education and environmental awareness promote greater understanding and a more favorable mindset towards conservation.

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INTRODUCTION | OUR STATEMENT
Humanity stands at another crossroad in 2009, where yet another important choice has to be made. Faced with the expiry of the Kyoto Protocol in 2012, this generation is standing on a brink of a new era that will be heralded by the drafting of a new climate accord that will last for the next decade. Ever since the release of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) report in 2007 that declared climate change as a human-wrought condition, brought about by extravagant consumption and pollutive emissions, the capacity of Mankind to once again reinvent himself in the face of novel challenges has once more been subjected to the sternest of tests. There is no illusion of the arduous task that lies ahead. The consensus-building process, and by extension the mission to push for greater sustainability is one that has time and again been complicated by the political implications of such international agreements -particularly one whose effects last far into an unknown future. The nebulous nature of the days ahead often incur great hesitancy and indecisiveness -- hesitancy to leave behind the security of the status quo, even if it is one that looks increasingly bleak; and the indecisiveness borne out of the inability to make choices when confronted with a whole array of options that offer no definite outcome. As we turn the final page on the last era characterized by the Kyoto Protocol, we have the opportunity to leave behind the self-centrism that has been portrayed through the decisions made; the very decisions which have "failed the world's poor". Those decisions were made when there was still an emergent understanding of the need for a collective consciousness and global ownership of the environment and its resources, regardless of geographic location and surpassing all borders of artificial human construct. These same mistakes cannot be repeated as we step into the next decade, for no longer will there be any pardon for what can only be attributed to a belligerence that pays scant heed to the crisis that is upon our heads. It is our ardent belief that multi-lateral agreements have the profound ability to effect change in the world today, and the reversal of our self-wrought environmental degradation is only possible through the cementing of these agreements. What we are presenting here is the culmination of the efforts of a group of youths dedicated to the environment on designing frameworks by which Man can redeem himself. We believe that these frameworks, put together by this group of youths, can work. Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of the United States of America, once declared, "You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today." The yoke of responsibility is not one that can be shrugged off, especially when it is a duty to successive generations to secure their future by insuring the present. Perhaps the most difficult of all tasks is how Man, at the end of the day, can stand up to himself, and what he has done -- and still live with it.

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WE DESERVE A LOW-CARBON ECONOMY

It is not a new fact that economic development has caused unprecedented stress on the environment; in fact this phrase has been used to the death. With this growing recognition, the youth of today have come to have high expectations of world leaders that they will act upon their words to fashion a sustainable, low-carbon world. However, current efforts have not realized the tremendous potential that remains to be exploited.

With this in mind, we have taken the first step as youths to pen in this paper our vision of a low-carbon economy. We urge all policy-makers to consider our paper seriously for its true value as a reflection of the grassroots intimate with the direct effects of environmental policies. Furthermore, we implore governments who are serious to the environmental cause to receive with an open mind the pragmatic, workable suggestions included that uncover pockets of potential within society where change can be effected. Where current efforts have coincided with our suggestions, or where we have found current efforts to be right in principle but lacking in execution, we hope the world leaders will examine these shortcomings and make the necessary changes for improvement.

An achievable aim and worthwhile objective

to reduce carbon emissions

by 50% below 1990 levels by 2050
To this aim, we deem it an achievable aim and a worthwhile objective to reduce total carbon emissions by 50% below the 1990 levels by 2050. Seldom have great things been accomplished without similarly ambitious aims; we as youth take the bold stand in reaffirming our claim that this can be achieved. We ask the governments and international community to support us by breaking out of the current thinking paradigm. Together, we can make great strides.

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THE CURRENT SITUATION

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Nations understand that most of the degradation has come and is coming from economic development; nevertheless it is their primary pursuit. Predominant state policy still views creating wealth for society as national interest even where it contradicts environmental principles Environmental degradation is not an isolated problem. It is a global problem and we firmly call for every nation state to reaffirm that each of them has a social, political and moral obligation to prevent it from becoming worse. The Stern Review states that climate change is the greatest and widest-ranging market failure ever seen, presenting a unique challenge for economics. This gap is not unbridgeable, provided governments are first able to shift towards viewing the environment as a global good and a long-term economic asset that deserves equal consideration with current economic needs. The impacts of existing environmental deterioration can be observed on our ecosystems in terms of biodiversity reduction, furthermore evidenced by the existence of food scarcity a lack of drinking water, and depletion of the ozone layer. This problem of resource depletion, among others, is of massive proportions and requires an effective and pragmatic leadership to find a solution. We cannot afford to dally further upon an ever-evolving problem whose magnitude increases with each day of inaction. Future generations deserve a chance to experience these wonderful natural flora and fauna that we see today. We therefore have to do our part in conserving our precious environment. Otherwise, the quality of life experienced today will always come at the expense of that enjoyed by future generations. Any action taken needs to draw upon principles of environmentalism, including ecology, conservation, stewardship, responsibility and sustainability. Furthermore, to better protect our environment and make significant progress towards a more sustainable world, our real engagement is required on a daily basis. Only then can we change our lifestyle into a greener one, nurture the discourse on environment in the society and enshrine it as our vital interest for the public sector, the private sector, and governments alike.

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WHAT HAS BEEN LACKING

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The weighing between the environment and the economy needs to break free of the prevailing market economic paradigm that has shaped current social and political institutions and people’s lifestyles. These are unseen and intangible restrictions that limit the scope and breadth of our thinking, and have contributed to the inertia over environmental projects. Past champions for the environment have been inspiring but they have not been mainstreamed to affect fertile minds, hands and hearts. They have become voices in the wilderness and have remained so till this generation. States, civil society and private enterprises have made efforts but only few concrete steps left imprints. What is often found lacking has been the nurturing of a common commitment to which all states are bound to and which all states can be held accountable for, with the upkeep of this shared pledge. In fact, the continual information flux and data inflow means that governments should be willing and forthcoming in agreeing to further advances made upon this pledge in accordance to the demands of the environmental situation. Governments have been found wanting in exemplifying environmental leadership, passing over numerous opportunities to make critical adjustments to the current global model. This has been attributed to a lack of commitment, compounded by the inability to make tough choices that may necessitate trade-offs and a loss of political capital Governments must realize that a direct consequence of this is an overall shortfall in action, especially since the public and private sector take their cues from government policy action. Any hesitancy by policymakers will be magnified several-fold. There exists a lack of regulations that the government provides and gaps in implementation of environmental policies. Further progress will be limited if this is not recognized and corrected. In areas such as the promotion of alternative energy sources or public display of pro-environmental action, for example, there is a wide array of possible options that have been presented. A shared commitment is needed to transform these into mainstays of society. This is the transformative push that will change our way of living into one that is less environmentally-taxing. At the same time, all aspects of sustainable living cannot be discounted. For example despite the UN Year of Sanitation 2008, progress on waste

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management still remains woefully inadequate. Greater collective action to stimulate public and private participation is thus needed. 10. The diversity of perspectives used in judging the state of the environment tremendously affects the way solutions are developed. Solutions are scattered as they are suggested by various stakeholders across countries. Furthermore, civil society movements work separately and lack coordination for a holistic approach. 11. Current insufficiencies in the Kyoto Protocol should be targeted in the drafting of the new carbon reduction agreement. We believe that the debate over common but differentiated responsibility can be very misleading with regards to our purpose of creating a more sustainable world. That debate only creates an apology of who creates the environmental damage and who is supposed to take responsibility of it. This only leads to an antropocene and not ecocentric view of protecting the environment. 12. Furthermore, existing carbon emission regulations have unwittingly engendered an environment where the private sector can justify pollution on an affordability basis. Although existing carbon taxes do have benefits on reducing emissions, more needs to be done to rectify the situation such that corporate social responsibility is reinforced. 13. Therefore, we, the youth of today, have decided to take the CHOICE to seize the future by choosing today. This paper aims to provide assistance towards formulating proper solutions by expressing the perspective of the youth, displaying a unified resolve towards reforming the existing models of resource capitalization, energy production and environmental protection.

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TARGETS | WHAT WE ENVISION

Pertaining to the 6 specific areas of focus, resource depletion, alternative energy sources, environmental law, green technology, environmental education and awareness, and waste management, the youth have come up with a broad set of objectives, namely:

1.

A reduction in human dependency on fossil fuel, characterized by: a. Reduction in electricity consumption per capita for each and every nation Recycling of 40% of global household waste by 2015 Re-process and re-usage of 50% of global water by 2025 Increase in the number of regulations governing consumption of natural resources by corporations

b. c. d.

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Broad-based promotion of alternative energy sources a. b. Increase global usage of alternative energy sources up to 35% by 2050 Reduce global carbon emissions from energy production by 45-55% by 2050

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Greater sensitivity of policies towards the need for cultivating environmentallyresponsible attitudes and lifestyles a. Integration of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and additionally, Refuse, elements and concepts in policy drafting and legislation in all countries by 2015 Incorporation of green technology by all stakeholders of society, particular in two areas: buildings and consumer products by all countries by 2050

b.

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Bolster the role of education in supporting and protecting our environment by filling the gaps between the top-down approaches of the state with the bottom-up approaches of civil society a. Improve and expand new discourse on the viability of introducing development and “Ecopreneurship” Optimize the media in greening the world within and beyond

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Rework education systems to emphasize the role of youth in making a more sustainable world a visible goal

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Amend current international laws to alleviate environmental problems while ensuring continued economic growth a. Enhancing the supervisory and policing role of regional blocs to enforce carbon emission cuts Codification of a common, shared system of principles and laws shared globally by 2015 so as to consolidate the current fragmented environmental laws Creation of International Environment Court under UNEP to deal with cases of non-compliance Creation of a differentiated payment mechanism for developed and developing countries for their carbon emissions, with the latter working on a delayed payment basis Creation of new eco policies to resolve outstanding environmental issues. These should be available to be signed and ratified in 4 years, by 2013

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APPROACH | STEPS NEEDED

ADOPTION OF APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY
1. We call upon governments to recognize that the pursuit of economic growth can be mediated by adoption of appropriate technology. Where the impacts of society on the environment can be buffered by technology, governments should spare no expense in utilizing this technology. a. The development of green technology can mediate the impact of urbanized areas on the environment and reduce society’s carbon footprint and hence its uptake and continued research should be encouraged by the government through actual policies and legislation. i. Legislation: Governments need to spearhead the uptake of green buildings through promotion and regulation of green building projects since legislation is able to push society effectively in a direction that is beneficial to all ii. Loan incentives: More collaboration is needed with nonpublic banking sectors to offer loan incentives to the public/private developers of the green buildings and/or providing tax rebates to contractors as well as architects who are involved in green buildings projects. iii. Universal Eco-labeling scheme: Standards should be placed and enforced upon industrial sectors which evaluates the entire production cycle including materials used, machine efficiency, water and waste management, shipping and logistics for their environmental friendliness and sustainability, occurring through a universal eco-labeling scheme. This alerts both producers and consumers to the importance of environmental friendliness b. Broad-based promotion of alternative energy sources by world governments is needed. These should be seen not only as potential opportunities to explore, but also as imperatives for diversification away from an unsustainable way of living to harness energy better with less environmental costs, and so should be regarded as every government’s primary responsibility towards the global problem of climate change i. Monetary Assistance: Governments should provide monetary benefits, including low-interest loans subsidies, to adopt alternative energy sources (AES) technologies for wide-spread use. Annex 1 countries can commit towards technology

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transfer and knowledge-sharing by experts to Annex 2 countries in the area of AES research as part of the condition on loans for development aid, and Annex 2 countries should reciprocate by guaranteeing transparency and allowing monitoring by an international environmental authority appointed in the agreement ii. Development of Expertise: Education institutions should be set up to train and develop the people’s expertise and boost R & D to increase the efficiency and safety of AES. The combining of education of all AES variances under one umbrella will facilitate the ease of inter-field collaboration, due to the highly interrelated nature between the different AES technologies. iii. Anti-monopoly policy and Regulation: Regulate alternative energy technologies through forming an intergovernmental regulating body to prevent monopolization of the industry in future. In the light of present experience with energy related cartels such as the OPEC, the world should ensure that alternative energy sources will not end up commoditized to serve the interest of several energy elites. This will ensure that future energy prices will remain competitive yet stable.

STRENGTHENING OF LAWS
2. A watertight system of monitoring and enforcing environmentally-friendly behavior to ensure universal application of the same code of conduct for governments, society and industries alike. As such, the strengthening of laws should be regarded as a priority to establish an international benchmark to regulate behavior. a. Consolidation of Laws: There needs to be a unified and codified international environmental law which both developed and developing countries are amenable to ratify, with the presence of a cooperative bureaucracy within member states on implementing the law in terms of social, economic, environmental and political areas. The existing environmental laws in the world today are fragmented, and are generated sporadically. They have diverse aims, without any main global codification. This very codification is imperative in order to create an effective global policy and an integrated movement. Enhanced role for regional blocs: Regional blocs should not act merely as economic trading bodies, but also as mutual checks on member countries with regards to their efforts in environmental protection. Furthermore, since there are still disparities between countries in terms of both

b.

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economical and technological capacities to fight environmental issues, therefore, through regional blocs, countries in that bloc that can muster greater resources and expertise will be able to augment the progress in developing countries by facilitating the transfer of technology and investments. c. Establishment of Neutral Governing Body: We recommend that an effective and powerful supranational body be established to ensure that the environmental interests remain stable. Under these provisions, the governing body will be endowed with the authority to monitor and enforce its member countries’ compliance by introducing a stricter sanction mechanism. Separation of function: We opine that the structure of the neutral governing should be such that there are three sub-structures comprising the monitoring body, international environmental court, and enforcement body. i. Monitoring Body: This body should have two main responsibilities: the facilitating and reporting of the implementation of law. The facilitators should comprise of member states and international Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) as well as relevant experts. These member states would be countries that have shown good records in achieving their emission targets, but whose memberships are reviewed annually. Its functions are to proffer suggestions regarding the best possible implementation of environmental law. On the other hand, the members who conduct the reporting function shall include only INGOs. Their neutrality can be more assured since they represent the varied interests of the society in protecting the environment. ii. Establishment of International Environment Court: This mechanism should be implemented as the last resort. The afore-mentioned court will be established as a subsidiary under the UNEP, who should ensure that countries deliver on their promises towards environmental sustainability. This new court composes of several mechanisms including:  State’s consent not mandatory for court’s functioning: The creation of this court stems from the inherent environmental vulnerability in international law enforcement. Considering the past failings of the ICC and ICJ were mostly caused by the weakness of international law and the lack of cooperation of member states, it is paramount the IEC has greater autonomy and clout to uphold its efficacy.

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Decision-making elements are independent parties to ensure neutrality: The team of judges should be entirely neutral, by consisting of ten members who comprise of international environmental activists, INGO representatives, and epistemic communities.

iii. Enforcement Body: This body serves to compel all ratifying members to impose the indicated sanctions on accused entities that have been proven guilty by the IEC. Sanctions are primarily economic in nature, and involve imposing additional taxes on all products that are exported by the guilty country to all members bound by the protocol. e. Immediate effort needed: This is required to resolve any final impediments towards all countries adopting a common stand with the agreement that succeeds the Kyoto Protocol so that universal emission reduction is renewed and enshrined as the core of any future environmental sustainability policies, the standard of which needs to be worked out by COP-15 so that the agreement is readily poised to enter into effect once the Kyoto Protocol expires. Participation and compliance of all states should be secured and each state should view this as an essential duty arising from their membership in the global community forum that is the United Nations. i. Confirm Emission Reduction Targets: We suggest countries outside Annex I to set their targets of carbon emission reduction in the next global conference. Keeping in mind that there should be a global movement towards the standardization of global carbon reduction target, the precise magnitude of each country’s carbon emission reduction should be subject to further negotiation within the conference. Emission reduction should be made in accordance with the 1990 standard for fairness, considering the efforts that have been made by some countries even before the obligations imposed in this Protocol. Harmonization of Law: Any new international law relevant to the topic of carbon emission reduction made after the Protocol should be in accordance with this Protocol. For example, the creation of Article 211 of 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea incorporates the precise standard of operational oil pollution sets by the earlier the 73/78 MARPOL Convention. All states that agreed to be bound by UNCLOS are also bound by MARPOL Convention (David Wilkinson, p.66, 2002).

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Annual Review Mechanism: Pursuant to the gradual movement of the global CO2 reduction percentage, every year there should be an annual review of the progress of the emission reduction for each country done by the annual conference. Each country is given full right to establish its own suitable mechanism to achieve the agreed target. The annual meeting will review the implementation and provide suggestions if considered as necessary. Post-protocol Action: After the treaty has ceased and/or the target is reached, member countries should meet and discuss the continuance of the efforts to reach the initial goal or to create and set new targets of carbon emission reduction, as seen fit by parties involved. We envision the ideal situation where countries are amenable to enforce gradually improving targets of carbon emission reduction so that there will be a continual drive to “green” lifestyles, attitudes, and technology. Measures to reach emission reduction should be sustainable and hence should be continued even after the Protocol has ceased

iv.

ENHANCE TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER
3. Creation of a conducive environment for cross-border technology transfer through streamlining of existing laws to provide the necessary protection or to cover the loopholes where needed. a. Abolishment of Patents: We suggest that Annex 1 countries abolish or reduce the price of patents for different types of AES technology for Annex 2 countries in exchange for the preservation of forests and reforestation, the framework of which has been negotiated under the REDD mechanism. Abolishing patents will reduce the cost of adopting AES technology in Annex 2 countries, while the mutual benefit garnered from such exchanges enable the Annex 1 countries to fulfill their obligation towards taking a leadership role in helping out developing nations. Rethink IP Laws: Developed countries are unwilling to share their technology with developing countries so as to remain more economically competitive. Often, government-led research and development are protected from distribution by strict IP laws that make such technology expensive and inaccessible. Since state-owned enterprises are limited in helping with the transfer of technology, it is up to the MNCs from these developed countries to help distribute technology evenly among the countries.

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i.

Multi National Companies (MNCs) are key pillars in their economy’s growth and are able to coordinate a complex series of functions that cut across national boundaries to ensure development in various regions all over the world. Transfer of technology between developed and developing countries are facilitated by MNCs through investments in other countries. Industrialization to raise the standard of living is a key focus; hence governments are unwilling to focus on environmental sustainability. As such, it is of the utmost importance for them to acquire the technology necessary for them to develop. With the fulfillment of basic needs as the prerequisite for greater environmental care, accelerating the development of developing countries through MNC involvement would allow a greater focus on environmental issues and minimize the pollution produced per unit of GDP as the period of time taken to develop is shorter. Therefore, this situation presents a winwin solution for both parties. It is also unfair to dissuade developing countries from industrializing on environmental grounds when developed nations have been polluting the environment for many years. The crux is how we can start encouraging the transfer of technology, whilst continuing to allow the economies of countries in both Annex 1 and Annex 2 to grow. MNCs must also know the limitations in their projects, as well as understand and keep in mind the international environmental laws agreed to by all countries and control their carbon emissions.  An example of effectively tackling environmental issues through indirect MNC catalyzing of economic growth is that of the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city. Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs) were signed related to the development of an eco-business park, and the Eco-city Administrative Committee (ECAC) and the Joint Venture Company (JVC) have made efforts to secure investments in targeted sectors; for instance, businesses related to energy conservation and environmental protection, in the eco-city. These investments will help to kick-start the development of the startup area and provide jobs.

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Recognition of Differing Responsibilities: Developed and developing countries contribute differently to the current state of environmental

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degradation. Hence, they should be given different responsibilities when tackling the issue. i. The cost should be paid mainly by developed countries with greater collaboration between developed and developing countries. Developed countries should aid in the industrialization of third world countries through investments, especially in green economies in the country. While developing countries are expected to share the responsibility, they should not have to bear an equal amount of it owing to less responsibility for past carbon emissions and less financial and technological capabilities. A benchmark for carbon emission levels (based on the Principle of Common but Differentiated Responsibility stated in the Kyoto Protocol) must be set for both developed and developing countries; developed countries’ emission levels should aim to reach the agreed lower levels and their R&D will help to promote this. At the same time, developing countries also have to take on the responsibility to curb carbon emissions. We propose that a mechanism be put in place to ensure that developing countries also bear the costs of environmental consequences from their industrialization, but this can be paid forth at a later date, such as 30 years later. This draws a parallel to developed countries paying the price for their irresponsible polluting during the industrial revolution, and mandates environmental responsibility in an equitable manner. The agreed reduction of emissions from developed countries and developing countries should be different due to the Principle of Common but Differentiated Responsibility. To encourage developed countries to invest in developing countries, there should be a cap imposed on the maximum number of carbon credits in each carbon market, and additional carbon credits offered to developing countries to create an incentive for firms to look towards investing in regions outside of China and India.

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GOVERNMENT LEADERSHIP
4. Government leadership is needed to transform society’s attitudes and the existing socio-economic paradigm into one that is more environmentally-friendly. Central to this is the government’s conduct in the area of sustainability and its own actions in addition to policies, and how it is able to bring across its beliefs and promote them to society at large. a. Refuse Overconsumption by the People: Government refusal of overconsumption will directly reduce waste production. This has to be driven through society-centric policies that aim to discourage unnecessary consumption and superfluous needs through a penalty-reward system and promote environmentally-friendly behavior through education, whereas of present, these two areas of concern are lacking. Whereas awareness of the latter is catching up, it is inadequate as of present, and governments need to be more cognizant of their ability to incentivize positive behavior by enacting appropriate policies that are suitable to the local context, based on the locals’ habits of consumption and the main contributions to waste production Enforce the Adherence of Offices to Universal, Environmentally-friendly Guidelines: Authorities should harness recent technological advancements, such as through green architecture, to compel the corporate sector to abide by more eco- friendly yardsticks by 2012. These include the establishment of “Green Offices”. A head start to the policy would include the gradual introduction of better natural lighting, ventilation, and double shift work in current offices. In addition, the widespread usage of e-paper is encouraged to reduce excessive paper usage. Streamlining of bureaucratic procedures is urgently required and it is recommended that a task force be set up to look into how government operations can better internalize the concept of environmental friendliness, with the accumulation of experience being able to be passed to the private sector, thus epitomizing government leadership by example. Make Non-disposable Products Mandatory: Generation of excessive waste can partly be attributed to the profit-making motive of companies in its usage of cheap and convenient disposable products, in addition to the consumerist attitudes prevalent in developed societies. Governments can signal a shift towards heavier usage of biodegradable items and away from non-biodegradable ones through relevant policies that need to start by identifying potential points of intervention in individuals’ everyday lives and making an impact there so as to alert them to the costs of their behavior. i. An example can be drawn from Ireland’s Plastic Bag Environmental Levy which came into effect in 2002, charging 15

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c.

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cents for every plastic bag used except for those used to store non-packaged goods, resulting in a 90% usage cut almost overnight. This legislation has proved to be effective in transferring the burden of responsibility for their consumerist choices onto consumers and altering behavior patterns to better align with environmental sustainability ii. Germany has enacted a Green Dot system where manufacturers and retailers pay for a “Green Dot” on products, with the levy proportional to the amount of packaging. The green dot then indicates to the consumer that it should be discarded in special collection bins sponsored by the industry. This created an incentive to reduce the amount of materials in packaging resulting in less garbage produced and recycled. Furthermore it is able to make consumer waste part of the manufacturer’s cost calculations, thus harnessing the innovation and efficiency of the private sector

d.

Mandatory Recycling: Governments can tackle the lack of recycling habit by making recycling compulsory, especially so in countries where such a culture has yet to take root and people lack the discipline or initiative to recycle actively. Complementary to this is the provision of expertise and advice to expedite the recycling process. Initiation of Aggressive Campaigns to Increase Awareness: We find that the capability and goals of developed and developing countries should differ due to the disparate profiles of their population bases as well as differences in attitudes and practices. We have outlined a few proposed goals for each group of nations, as follows: i. Developed Nations:  The people should start paying environmental tax now or at the beginning of the new fiscal year of 2011. Industries should be receptive towards implementing greenhouse gas emissions trading schemes, an example of which is the New South Wales Greenhouse Gas Abatement Scheme that obliges environmentally friendly technologies such as electricity generators and energy efficient compliances. All developing nations should have done similar actions by the year 2014. Finding and developing a mass executable prototype of an alternative and sustainable source of energy. This new source of energy should be able to efficiently done in every country, by the year 2020.

e.

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ii.

Developing Nations:  Inserting an environment awareness subject in elementary schools by the year 2013. Implement a short term alternative energy source, such as the biogas program in Indonesia and the gobar gas program in India. By the year 2015, 60% of people should have shifted their reliance of fossil fuel to these new alternatives. Implement technology transferred from developed countries by the year 2021. Initiating various lifestyle-changing campaigns by government and corporate that should start right away in 2009. Examples of such program/policies are “One Rinse” from Unilever Indonesia which reformulated its “Molto” fabric conditioner to need only one rinse instead of three to save on water costs, or possible household energy competitions

SYNERGISTIC RELATIONSHIPS
5. Interaction between developed and developing countries should be conducive for mutual growth and any interaction needs to keep in mind the disparate backgrounds of the countries involved as well as any synergies that can be tapped upon in order to make mutual strides towards environmental sustainability and a low-carbon economy a. Allocating Responsibilities: There needs to be a shift away from the current mindset of attributing blame towards a more constructive approach that emphasizes on future intervention and contributions. These have to be worked out based on the present situation and avoid further dalliances due to pinpointing blame on past actions. As stated above, the creation of an apology for past environmental damage and attribution of responsibility is not forward-looking and will only serve to hamper future progress Differentiated paying mechanisms: There should be adequate provision for the fulfillment of different responsibilities as set out above, through a flexible payment structure that accommodates the present ability to pay and weighs it with the future impact of pollution for both developed and developing countries, without excusing any country from bearing the costs of environmental mismanagement

b.

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c.

Budget cuts i. Attempts to shrink the national budget tend to be done by cutting spending on environment-related expenditure such as environmental satellite spending. As there has always been the need for every state or country to classify environmental concerns among their core, centrifugal concerns, it is necessary to protect environmental laws from regime changes. Existing environmental legislations also need continuity in implementation regardless of changes in regimes or ruling electorates to achieve sustainability, and to spend on initiatives to rehabilitate and preserve the environment before the situation becomes intractable. There is a need for developed countries to subsidize the environmental programs to be implemented in developing countries since they have larger financial capacities, and to develop loan schemes between countries, where developed countries can loan developing countries some capital and resources to execute the necessary adaptations to fulfill the legislations. To avoid the pitfalls of excessive debts of developing countries, returns can be made in alternative ways, like conferring trading privileges for the creditor country, or benefits for its nationals working in the borrowing country. Also, a global fund can be created from the monetary collection of pollution damages or emission taxes from polluting agents over the world and its reserves can be channeled towards green policy implementation. This is based on the ‘polluter pays’ principle.

ii.

iii.

iv.

v.

d.

Solve Current Impasses Based on Recognition of Common Good: There should be nurturing of the “environment-first” attitude firstly at the international level where consensus should be reached that in issues of common global good, individual grievances should be laid aside and mediation prioritized with global partners weighing in on the process to contribute an equal amount of pressure for early settlement. This must include among the first the ratification of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and supporting treaties including the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty which are essential to make readily available the benefits of nuclear technology without fears of misuse

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INTEGRATION OF EDUCATION
6. Education should be integrated as one of the most effective arms of any policy aiming to achieve carbon emission reduction as it cultivates a future pool of leaders who are aware of its importance and sets the tone and direction for the rest of society to follow in subsequent decades. This should include: a. Inculcating Awareness on Available Energy Sources: Public support is crucial in developing high-cost alternative energy projects. Any lingering doubts of misbelieves should be dispelled so that the public can fully appreciate the rationale behind it. Campaigns to generate awareness supplemented by the integration of the preservation of the environment through alternative energy sources into the school curriculum can play a useful role in public education. Global events such as Earth Hour and Live Aid are able to reach out to a worldwide audience to generate support for environmental issues. Boost Alliance for Knowledge: Allowing Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) to develop test-phase environmentally-beneficial projects eliminates the need to spend taxpayer’s money on expensive early stage project assessments which might be of high risk. In 2005, only 32 percent of Bangladesh’s population had grid electricity, despite the country’s successful rural electrification program. Because of innovative off-grid projects that include renewable energy applications, 250,000 more lowincome rural households in both countries now enjoy the benefits of an electricity connection. These are driven by community-based organizations such as the Electricity Consumer Societies with the help of NGOs Comprehensive Education Policies on the 3Rs of Consumption: This imparts environmental knowledge to school-going children and would enable people to refuse unnecessary consumption or excessive packaging, imbuing the awareness at an early age so that society can respond positively to government actions to reduce waste and understand the rationale behind such maneuvers, even when such actions might be penalizing on their behavior Internalizing Sweat Equity: “Sweat equity”, a scheme which allows the unemployed to contribute their labor, involves the entire community in micro-hydroelectric plant project development and is a feasible way to reduce the financial burden of the ordinary in developing such projects while increasing their sense of ownership and awareness towards such projects Harnessing youth energies: Youth play a crucial role as the main stakeholders in the future of the world by protecting the environment. With regard to youth involvement in supporting the environment and

b.

c.

d.

e.

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moving towards a low-carbon economy, there is an urgent need to implement the following proposed solutions: i. Ensure that premises of environmental leadership resonate in the respective youth groups, institutions, and communities through creative and participative echo seminars and programs in all countries across all continents Seek to continue and sustain youth energies by giving appropriate support for youths to pursue existing programs and projects in each country, redefining the view of youths from an “at-risk” group to people who are willing to contribute positively and who actively seek the acknowledgement and support of the government to actualize their ideas and passion for society’s benefit Expand local networks by sharing practices and efforts in order to replicate best practices and together learn how to achieve our common goals Government and other institutions should encourage young children and students to voice their opinions to policy or decision-makers, while academia and students can conduct school-hopping activities where teachers and students will be exposed to environment related projects. Non-government organizations and the civil society should be invited to conduct formal and informal public discussions by inviting community members to participate and develop context-specific mitigation and adaptation mechanisms. A role can be given to environment advocacy groups in terms of facilitating communication and networking through the conduct of workshops and action planning, both in civil society as well as among government bodies or statutory boards Youth leaders can be encouraged to develop campaign materials (videos, music, MTVs, flyers, logos, advertisements, among others) that can be shared electronically.

ii.

iii.

iv.

v.

vi.

RECRUTIMENT OF NGOS
7. Recruitment of NGOs to spearhead efforts on part of civil society as they can form the bridges between governments and society, reflecting the ground situation and the actual needs of the communities they serve, while playing a supportive role by translating government policies and direction into a form that can be easily

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understood by the community and lending their weight by changing the way they conduct themselves. Some goals are to: a. Educate the society in rural areas, such as farmers, fishermen, people who live from the forests, and slums in the proximity of NGOs. There should be 60% of the society that is already well educated by the year 2017. Facilitate dialogue and partnerships between all actors of the environment, from governments to the grassroots. These partnerships and dialogue should be feasible by the year 2015 Provide 75% human resources to areas in need in the proximity by the year 2017. Abolish the policy practice gap by acting as the check and balance for corporations and the government by the year 2020.

b.

c.

d.

AGGRESSIVE INTERNATIONAL ACTION
8. More aggressive international action is needed to redefine the way carbon emission reduction targets are treated, by integrating them into the economic structure that the world relies upon today so that the perspective of carbon emission reduction can be shaped such that it becomes a valued commodity. a. Establishment of a Carbon Trading Stock Market: Benefits of the carbon market system have been skewed towards China and India, which are now key targets for investors all over the world due to the rising Chinese and Indian markets that have become an attractive place due to their growing economy and large market size. Therefore, there is a need to ensure that Carbon trade occurs between more countries, and reach out to other developing countries which have seen much less proportions of world trade, such as the African Continent. i. Building on the Kyoto Protocol concept and factoring in considerations of the issue of the self-serving interests of each sovereign state, the Carbon Trading Market and the existing WTO/ free-trade market should be either linked or combined. This would incentivize both developed and developing markets to ‘voluntarily’ partake based on economic interest, but adopt environmentally friendly measures when they build and grow their economies. The current stock market should include an element of environmentally-driven trade in it. Under the Carbon Trading “Stock Market”, countries will also be trading carbon credits via

ii.

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investments, research and development and technology in the green industry. This brings greater trade and development to both developed and developing countries. iii. When this carbon trade market becomes successful, it would result in the overall creation of a new global trading market which would promote global economic growth, and at the same time, lead to environmental sustainability in countries.

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CLOSING WORD

Recognizing that the thematic issues under discussion have significant bearing on the quality of human life; Acknowledging that building a global consensus on pertinent environmental issues requires effective leadership and a shared sense of direction; Understanding that any functioning international or intergovernmental process needs to first involve prioritization of common aims and objectives; Endorsing that critical intervention is needed to ensure the continued relevance of such multi-stakeholder platforms; and Committing towards upholding the global good as an overarching aim in all future endeavors,

We as youth reaffirm our support towards protecting the environment and making this world a visible future. With conviction, we, the generation of today, once more confirm and commit that we will make the choice today to seize a better future tomorrow, and we urge all global leaders to demonstrate the same conviction. The decisions of youth are unburdened by political and economic considerations and should be seriously considered as honest appraisals without baggage. This resolute stand made by youth should be taken up as a clarion call for governments and enterprises to reject dithering and adopt a global perspective. The youth represent a formidable resource in tackling the global climate change crisis, but we need to be supported by both governments and corporations with the recognition that the common action problem is best resolved by simultaneous agreements on shared action plans. We, as youth, will inspire our fellow youth to be empowered to choose the decision of making the world a livable community of unity amidst diversity. To all governments, we invite you to demonstrate the kinship that exists among all of us through mutual cooperation to deliver upon shared promises and take the steps of change for the global good. To all private corporations, we invite you to step into the shoes of responsible companies that, inasmuch as they recognize that they are one of the pillars of modernday society, fulfill the role bequeathed to them by supporting society’s progress down a beneficial path. To civil society and all NGOs, we invite you into a warm partnership whereby we will be able to look towards you for guidance and experience, and for the receptiveness that will see us maximize each of our potentials.

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We, as youth, are committed towards a future where our descendants and other generations to come will not have to suffer unduly as a result of the ecological and environmental debt that was placed upon them by the irresponsibility of all the past deeds of our generation. To this cause, we are committed towards creating a strong pressure that defies political boundaries on the stake that we, as youth, will make a choice about. The global truth is that climate change is upon all of us ― unless we do something to stop it. And the youth believe that it is in each and every one of us to do so. Because we know. We must. And we can.

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