Standing on the rooftop of my childhood home in Delhi, India, under the relentless gaze of the sun, I reflect on a journey that began amidst the vibrant chaos of my city—an intricate dance of progress and disparity. The towering skyscrapers and glittering malls coexisted with sprawling slums, unveiling the stark contrasts that fueled my unwavering desire to be an agent of change.

For me, The hustle and bustle of Delhi became the backdrop for a deeper calling, propelling me into the captivating world of Climate Action. In these dynamic surroundings, I discovered a passion for policy shaping, recognizing that the solutions to global challenges were waiting to be unearthed within the realm of Economics.

As I embarked on this journey, my advocacy work found its zenith at COP27, where I stood as a youth delegate. The experience was nothing short of empowering, a realization that the seeds sown through my advocacy efforts had the potential to bear fruit on the global stage. It was a moment that underscored the significance of individual voices in the collective symphony of change.

Stepping into the Arena of COP28

Now, as the horizon of COP28 unfolds before me, the significance is answered uniquely. It is not merely another conference; it is a crossroads where passion meets policy, where the urgency of climate action converges with the power of collective determination. COP28 represents a crucial juncture in our shared journey, a canvas upon which the narratives of local impact and global change intertwine.

As I step into the arena of COP28, I carry with me the stories of Delhi, the contrasts, the struggles, and the resilient spirit of a city that mirrors the complexities of our world. It is a reminder that the journey from local impact to global change is not just a personal narrative; it is a shared odyssey where each voice, each advocacy effort, contributes to the harmonious crescendo of a world shaped by purpose and resilience.

In the ever-evolving narrative of our planet’s survival, green energy emerges as the protagonist, championing a story of hope and renewal. Much like a vibrant oasis in the midst of a desert, green energy stands as a beacon of sustainability, promising a future where the air is clean, and the landscapes thrive with life. As I embark on the journey to the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP28, the spotlight is cast on the pivotal role of green energy in shaping a resilient and harmonious world.

Why is the transition from fossil fuels to green energy so crucial?

The answer lies in the delicate balance between preserving our planet’s fragile ecosystems and meeting the insatiable energy demands of our ever-growing global population. Fossil fuels, once the lifeblood of industrialization, have become the chains that bind us to environmental degradation and climate change.

As I step onto the global stage at COP 28, I carry with me the weight of a generation’s aspirations for a cleaner, healthier Earth. The importance of green energy is not merely an environmental concern; it is a moral imperative, a commitment to rectify the mistakes of the past and forge a path towards a just energy transition.

Imagine a world where energy is not a privilege but a right, where every individual, regardless of their geographical location or socioeconomic status, has access to the life-altering potential of green energy. The just energy transition is an embodiment of this vision, weaving together the threads of environmental stewardship, social justice, and economic empowerment.

A just energy transition is more than a shift in power sources; it is a call to action for inclusivity and fairness. It envisions a world where the benefits of sustainable development are distributed equitably, leaving no one behind. In this narrative, marginalized communities, often disproportionately affected by the consequences of fossil fuel extraction, become the focal point of our collective responsibility.

In the quest for a sustainable future, the current solution lies in a resolute commitment to triple down on renewable energy by 2030. Countries worldwide must amplify their efforts to transition away from fossil fuels, embracing the transformative potential of solar, wind, and other clean energy sources. This imperative arises from the urgent need to keep the global temperature rise within the crucial threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius, a target deemed essential for averting catastrophic climate impacts. The window of opportunity is narrow, and tripling down on renewable energy becomes not just a choice but a necessity, ensuring that the delicate balance of our planet remains intact and that the aspirations set forth in international agreements translate into meaningful, impactful change.

Climate finance emerges as the linchpin for achieving climate justice

As  young leaders like us address the halls of COP28, the spotlight shifts to the undeniable truth: the responsibility for the lion’s share of cumulative emissions lies with the global north. Now, more than ever, it is their role to shoulder the responsibility and support the global south in their journey toward a sustainable and equitable future.

Climate finance serves as the bridge between ambition and action, offering a means to address historical imbalances and empower nations to embark on their green energy transition. By allocating resources to vulnerable communities, climate finance becomes a powerful instrument for social justice, ensuring that the benefits of renewable energy are shared equitably. It is the financial architecture that turns aspirations into reality, allowing nations, particularly those historically burdened by environmental inequalities, to leapfrog into a sustainable future.

As the custodians of our shared future, we, the youth, fervently call upon the leaders at COP28 to rise to the occasion and meet the critical USD 600 billion goal for climate finance provisions before 2025. this ambitious target is not just a monetary milestone but a lifeline for the planet’s mitigation and adaptation efforts. The annual and cumulative commitment to achieving the USD 100 billion goal is paramount, urging developed countries to transfer a total of USD 600 billion as a foundational support for both mitigation and adaptation finance. The plea echoes the essence of responsibility, emphasizing that these funds should be delivered as public, grants-equivalent, new, and additional finance. Additionally, the youth implore the fulfillment of commitments made at COP26, urging a minimum doubling of adaptation finance for a climate-resilient future. This ask is not just a financial target but a testament to the urgency and commitment needed to safeguard the well-being of our planet and its inhabitants.

Reflecting on the transformative journey from local impact to global change—a journey inherently intertwined with the very essence of community building. At the forefront of this narrative stands GESA – Growing Economies and Sustainability Alliance, a youth-led think-and-do tank I founded as my beVisioneers Project with a singular purpose: to elevate the collective power of the global youth in the realms of climate action and sustainable development.

In the pursuit of global transformation, the pivotal role of local impact cannot be overstated.

It is the heartbeat that resonates within communities, fostering connections and shared experiences. GESA, as an embodiment of this philosophy, endeavors to harness the latent potential of collective action, particularly from the youth of the global south—a community bearing the brunt of the climate crisis.

The ethos of GESA revolves around the simple yet profound idea that community building is the catalyst for collective action. By providing a platform for young minds to engage in research and policy analysis, we amplify the voices of those most affected by the climate crisis. 

My commitment as the founder of GESA lies at the intersection of climate action, gender equity, and social justice. It is a commitment rooted in the belief that by empowering the youth of the global south, we unlock a reservoir of untapped potential.

Written by Zainab Bie

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Comments:

  1. Munanganda AderaZainab Bie shares ideas we all need to listen, and build a future that we can all be proud of
  2. Iqra AfreenVery insightful and impressive !!!
  3. Max LehmannYou are so inspiring @Zainab! 😍😍 I‘m so excited to get to know you during the global summit! 🚀

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