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Youth Climate Compact

---First Public Draft---

Salt Lake City Youth Climate Compact

Drafted in the spirit of the 68th United Nations Civil Society Conference: “Building Inclusive and Sustainable Cities and Communities”
Salt Lake City, Utah, United States of America
August 26-28, 2019

It is time for we, the youth, to unite in action against the climate crisis. The cost of inaction is too immense. We are nearing the point-of-no-return from which life on the planet can recover. Threats to the climate menace every aspect of our world; and the sustainable communities we must build for the future depend on our collective will to meet and overcome these existential challenges.

The objective of this compact is to identify specific actions we can take to reduce the devastating effects of the climate crisis and adapt our communities in mindset and structure. Without an immediate paradigm shift, all Sustainable Development Goals stand to be compromised. Thus, the climate emergency is a matter of international security, and the global community has a moral imperative to act. 

The empirical evidence affirming the ever-mounting climate emergency is overwhelming and beyond any doubt. Rising sea levels, water acidity and pollution, and abnormally severe natural disasters are causing the gradual disappearance of geographically vulnerable areas such as Small Island Developing States, the decimation of oceanic biodiversity, and forced mass migration. Rapid industrial development coupled with inadequate regulation has hastened air pollution, deforestation, and acid rain; consequently undermining the ability both of natural habitats and human societies to support the thriving of their lifeforms, and thereby precipitating negative health outcomes for all species alike.

Undeniably, the climate crisis is creating a world in which tomorrow’s future is uncertain, and in which humanity stands to lose everything without immediate global civilian action.

Hereby, we the youth pledge to:

  • Raise awareness in our own communities about policy that is detrimental to the health of our planet and promote policy which works to confront the main causes of the climate crisis;
  • Educate ourselves and our communities on the impacts that we as individuals and as a collective society have on the environment through daily lifestyle choices;
  • Be mindful of the effects of our consumption, compounded in the manufacturing, transport, storage, sales, use and disposal of products; and use our purchasing power to encourage businesses to put people and planet over short-term profits, highlighting the long term gains of impact investing;
  • Prioritize more environmentally friendly transportation options such as public transit, carpool, bike, scooter, skateboard, walking, running, etc., and promote the avoid / shift / improve framework to relevant governance bodies to responsibly build transportation infrastructure necessary for sustainable development;
  • Consciously reduce, reuse, recycle, and upcycle, properly dispose waste, and maintain and harbor respect for urban sanitation;
  • Avoid single-use plastic whenever possible and promote policy to reduce the buildup of plastic waste;
  • Refrain from unnecessary printing, and prioritize the use of technology in replacement of paper in order to reduce deforestation;
  • Be considerate of our personal food consumption and waste, and support local and sustainable food markets when possible;
  • Advocate for ethical reform in food production industries, calling attention to the hidden negligence allowing the continuance of factory farming, animal cruelty, and environmentally destructive agricultural practices around meat and dairy production; become responsible consumers that actively support non-monopolized food producers that grow non-genetically modified crops in an ethical and moral way;
  • Be conscious of the toxic chemical composition of cosmetics and personal care products, and limit our use of these products;
  • Support environmentally and economically sustainable and safe alternatives to current menstrual hygiene products, which are highly composed of plastics and toxic chemicals, and support efforts to ensure access to these products around the world;
  • Boycott items we deem to be produced in ways that are excessively cruel to animals or damaging to the environment;
  • Reduce our personal water usage by committing to changes in our daily habits, such as turning off the faucet when no water is needed, taking shorter showers, washing laundry in bulk loads;
  • Support the conservation and preservation of aquatic habitats, ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water for all.
  • Divest from fossil fuels, mining, and other businesses that profit at the expense of our planet, and invest in climate solutions and green jobs, thereby transitioning our industries toward a zero-carbon economic future;
  • Encourage rapid transition to the use of renewable sources of energy such as hydropower, solar, wind, and biomass;
  • Serve as proactive monitors, supporting businesses that strive to reduce negative impact on the environment and calling out those who don't;
  • Actively participate in political processes, maximizing the voice of the people and challenging the influence of business interests over government policy; ensure our political representatives know that their jobs depend on supporting policies that promote the health of our planet and that we are willing to make these demands known at the ballot-box, or, if necessary, in the streets;
  • Mobilize to remedy the disproportionate effects of resource depletion, environmental degradation, and pollution on vulnerable populations, including those experiencing homelessness, communities deprived of economic opportunities, children, and the elderly.
  • Strongly condemn laws and regulations that deny environmental justice to and disproportionately affect minority and underclass groups;
  • Foster the inclusion of diverse and sustainable thought when addressing the aforementioned pledges in this Compact, realizing that collaboration within and between communities is crucial in ending the climate crisis.
  • Acknowledge all forms of life on Earth, understanding that we are all interconnected in the macro-ecosystem;

Through this collective agreement, we strive to harness the power of international youth in mobilizing our communities to construct a future that is certain and free of the devastation of the climate crisis.

We seek cooperation and support from all generations, governments, civil society organizations, and the private sector in achieving the targets of Sustainable Development Goal 13, thereby furthering our commitment to the United Nations 2030 Agenda.

Together, we can save the Earth!

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