Credit: Parents for Future UKby Paul Virgo (Rome)Tuesday 15 November 2022Inter Press Service
ROME, 15th November (IPS) – Lea is a three-year-old from Mexico who loves ladybugs. Siddhiksha, a six-year-old from India, has a passion for trees and wild animals. Rachelle is a 12-year-old Tanzanian who is wise beyond her years. Smart and lovable, they are among the stars of a short film designed to remind leaders attending the UN climate change conference COP27 that they have a duty of care to young and future generations.
“My greatest torment is literally not knowing what the world is going to be like,” says Cora, 13, from Brazil, in the film.
“I’m afraid the world could suck as many species won’t be able to survive in 50 years”.
Meera, a 15-year-old from Chennai, India, says she sees the impact of the climate crisis every day.
“Lately I have noticed that Chennai is very hot and Bangalore has a lot of out-of-season floods.
“All over the world there are forest fires almost every day.
“This is actually going to be scary and serious.”
The video was produced by the networks Our Kids’ Climate and Parents For Future Global to send the message that it’s time to go ‘kids first’ and take real climate action.
“The goal was to create a film that the kids could relate to, take the kids’ perspective and make kids feel empowered and valued,” said Sandra Freij, the photographer and filmmaker who works on the Directed and produced short film, opposite IPS. “We wanted to put the children’s voices before the decision-makers at the COP because their voices need to be heard and they have so much to say”.
In the film, children from 16 different countries talk about their dreams and fears about the future. Freij had the difficult task of selecting her from entries from nearly 100 children submitted by parents from around the world.
“It was very important to us to make sure we didn’t put words in their mouths. When we invited them to talk about their dreams, we encouraged them to talk about simple things like soccer or rainbows,” she said.
“I never thought we would receive such mature messages.
“It’s been an emotional few months as I receive message after message from children who have connected the dots and who are feeling sadness and fear for what the future holds.”
Our Kids’ Climate and Parents For Future Global are among several groups of people who are putting their concerns about the impact of the climate crisis on their children into action to bring about positive change.
Other groups include India’s Warrior Moms, which focuses on the need to tackle air pollution, and Britain’s Mothers Rise Up.
The latter group made headlines in June when they staged a spectacular protest involving song and dance outside the headquarters of Lloyd’s of London, inspired by the Let’s Go Fly a Kite scene in Mary Poppins, to tell the insurance giant to ‘should’ stop drawing the fossil – fuel projects that are jeopardizing our children’s future.
Parents For Future is a network of independent national groups from countries in both the Global South and the Global North. The national and local groups take actions that best fit their context.
Parents for Future Italia, for example, has prepared an “eco-manifesto” outlining the actions the country needs to take to implement climate action ahead of Italy’s general elections.
Then these groups merge on a global level.
Among other things, Parents for Future Global has worked hard to support the campaign for a fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty. What makes this collaboration between different national groups possible is the recognition by all involved that the climate crisis cannot be solved without addressing the injustices that cause it.
And that means that the countries of the Global North are admitting a great debt and taking remedial action, including through damages.
Parents for Future Global’s demands for COP27 are that nations must agree to ban new coal, oil and gas projects, end subsidies for existing fossil fuel projects, and commit to paying for losses and damages.
The actions of these determined parents have not gone unnoticed.
“World leaders had better watch out,” said Dr. Maria Neira from the World Health Organization begin of the #KidsFirst film at COP27. “There is nothing worse or better than a mother fighting for her children’s health. “Now I have great hope. We will win this fight.”
© Inter Press Service (2022) — All rights reservedOriginal source: Inter Press Service
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