by Ellie Johnston, SustainUS
United States youth active at the United Nations climate change negotiations with the youth-led organization SustainUS call for the presidential candidates to address the American public on how they will tackle climate change. For the past 10 years SustainUS has been sending passionate and talented US youth, mostly college students, to UN summits on climate change, sustainable development, biodiversity, and women's rights. In that time we've organized and built relationships with young people from all over the world who share our passion for maintaining a healthy planet for all. Many of the young people who attend the international climate negotations every year come from small island states and parts of the Global South that are far more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change than anything we could imagine here in the US. These are our friends and they're counting on us to get the world's largest economy, the US, to adopt national policies that further reduce our carbon emissions and support climate resilience.
The UK's Guardian gives us "50 months to avoid climate disaster," so the next (and maybe last) opportunity for a meaningful international climate agreement is likely going to be in 2015, right in the middle of the next Presidential term. Yet so far, we haven't heard either candidate lay out a serious plan for addressing the climate crisis. This isn't okay and we're not going to stand by and allow them to remain silent. Help support Power Vote in breaking the climate silence and add your name to the growing list of citizens making a call for climate to be addressed in this week's presidential candidate debates.
Young people all over the world are counting on us.