Children demand Declaration of a National Climate Emergency and Tackling of Climate Change

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Record-breaking heat waves have become a regular occurrence in India, killing thousands of people. Melting snow-caps are slowly increasing the sea level.

Rainfall patterns in India are changing, and this has had a devastating effect on farmers’ harvests and affecting the migration patterns of different birds and animals.

The hottest days of the year will grip much of central and northern India in the coming days, and this heat wave is unlikely to end anytime soon.

Dust-storms and increased levels of air pollution - these seem to have become the normal way of living for most of us.

Climate change is real.

I am a class 11 school student, and being a nature enthusiast, I know what repercussions several years of ignorance towards global warming will have for India in the long run.

The human race has already caused irreversible climate change, the impacts of which are being felt around the world. But it’s not too late.

The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report says that limiting Global Warming to 1.5°C may still be possible - but it requires ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society, the private sector and local communities.

Indian politicians have till now been in denial of the fact that climate change is an actual threat and have completely sidelined all environmental issues.

A major change is needed in the way government forms its environmental policies. They need to refocus their policies from making the environment a better place all of use, and our future generations to live in.

To tackle this, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change must

  1. Declare a National Climate emergency and recognise it's shortcomings in providing to us a safe environment
  2. Commit to the Paris Agreement which seeks to limit the Earth’s warming to below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit).
  3. Work towards meeting the goal of a green cover of 33% in the country as proposed and accepted in it's National Forest Policy
  4. Implement much stricter rules to reduce sporadic clearances of forests for activities such as mining and building
  5. Implement stricter rules towards curbing illegal mining in green and wetland areas
  6. Give priority to completing all plans enlisted under INDC

Children from across the country have been protesting since March for a common goal of action against climate change, however our voices have been ignored and suppressed. We shall be the next voters in the Lok Sabha elections and we shall ensure that the policies of the government align themselves with international environmental standards.

We demand action of India's present and future leaders on climate change and environmental concerns. Within five years we shall be the new generation of voters, and we shall cast our votes only for the parties engaged in bringing Climate Justice.

I, along with tens of lakhs of students across India, demand that the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change declare a National Climate Emergency and work towards tackling climate change.

Let us be the youth of today, leaders of tomorrow and the change making voters of the future.

- Aman Sharma
Along with Asheer, Asees, The Students Strike for Climate Change organisation and Cuckoo About Nature Club