The Elders call on world leaders to take radical and decisive action

Clare Kelly
by Clare Kelly
19 September 2019

Ahead of the

The Elders –  a group of independent global leaders working together for peace and human rights – are urging leaders to listen to the demands from climate strikers to take responsibility and action on the climate emergency facing humanity.

The Climate Action Summit is an opportunity for leaders to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals, and The Elders believe unprecedented efforts will be needed from all nations

The recent public anger and determination of young people has been born out of the failure of generation after generation of leaders to act decisively on climate change. Ban Ki-moon, Deputy Chair of The Elders and former UN Secretary-General, called for much-needed action: “We need to have the courage to boldly step away from the status quo and make the changes that are needed for our planet.”

Image from International Peace Institute
Image from International Peace Institute

Around the world people are already experiencing the full range of effects of climate change. It is the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people – those who have benefited least from fossil fuel-powered growth – who are the most affected by the impacts of climate change.

Mary Robinson, Chair of The Elders and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said: “The younger generation has now taken the lead in demanding climate action. They shame all of us who didn’t act soon enough in influencing and delivering policy change. Young people are the least responsible for the causes of climate change and yet it is they who will unfairly inherit a legacy they did not choose and do not deserve."

Climate action demands courageous leadership. Virgin Unite, alongside The Elders, are in solidarity with the growing movement for climate justice and urged leaders to take the bold decisions needed for our planet and its people.