On the sidelines of the United Nations Paris Climate Change Agreement Ratification Ceremony in New York City last week, eight ACE Action Fellows were invited to join a Youth Circle discussion on sustainability with youth from around the world. The Youth Circle event, titled “Sustainability: Our Shared Responsibility,” was hosted by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ministry of Climate Change and Environment during Climate Week NYC and featured over 30 young people and high-ranking UAE officials.
Addressing climate change requires bold action and the NYC Fellows
proved they have what it takes.
As the agenda stated, the goal of the Youth Circle was to bring youth together to “interact and discuss issues related to sustainability and put forward their ideas about their important role towards achieving [the] 2030 Agenda.” At the core of the 2030 Agenda, which was adopted by all 193 UN member nations in September 2015, are the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The 2030 Agenda includes 17 key SDGs ranging from sustainable consumption and production practices to women’s equality and ending hunger and poverty.
While the scope of the 2030 Agenda may be overwhelming to some, the Youth Circle dove right into discussing solutions to address the SDGs. The group included UAE youth studying abroad, international students, New York City Action Fellows and His Excellency Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment. The Action Fellows were the youngest participants in the discussion, but they were not afraid to voice their perspectives. Aryaana Khan, Brandon Hinds, David Huang, Hakim Evans, Jarlenys Mendez, Jet Hayden, Paola Hernandez and Mariana Vargas, shared their thoughts on the interactions between climate change and education, differences in global impacts and solutions, and drew connections between climate change and public health.
ACE staff members, Sunni Tang and Maayan Cohen, accompanied the students at the event and were impressed with Fellows’ willingness to engage in the discussion. As the event concluded, Sunni recalled, the Fellows “went right up to H.E. Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi to chat and snap some selfies.” Addressing climate change requires bold action and the NYC Fellows proved they have what it takes. We look forward to supporting their efforts fighting for equitable and sustainable climate solutions on the local, national and international level.