Licypriya Kangujam (10) from India says poor countries are facing huge costs of global climate change even when their contribution to the world’s global emissions is negligible. Seeks compensation for them
Staff Correspondent September 25
Pitching for the poorer countries that produce little carbon emissions but face huge costs of climate change, young Indian climate activist and the special envoy of the President of East Timor Licypriya Kangujam has said there will be no climate justice without climate finance.
Kangujam, a 10-year-old young climate activist, is in New York to attend high-level events of the UN Transforming Education Summit during the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
“Island countries like Timor Leste (East Timor) are responsible for less than 0.1 percent of the global carbon emissions but they are the biggest victim of the global climate crisis,” Kangujam said. “Many villages are sinking due to rising sea levels”.
Kangujam, who originally hails from India’s northeast, demanded compensation for the poor countries by the rich countries for the huge costs they pay because of global climate change. “We deserve climate justice and the rich countries must pay for the loss and damage to the developing countries,” she said. “There will be no climate justice without climate finance”.
A student of class 5, Kangujam has asked the world leaders to focus on climate change instead of wars. “Instead of spending billions of dollars in wars, if we spend it on fighting climate change, ending poverty, and giving education then what a wonderful place this earth would be”, she said.
Talking about India, Kangujam said that her country is facing lots of environmental issues like floods, droughts, heat waves, cyclones, locusts and air pollution at the same time. “These are all the impacts of climate change. Thousands of innocent children lost their lives and their parents due to high air pollution levels and climate crisis. And millions of people are becoming homeless,” she said. “Sacrificing the lives of millions of children for the failures of our leaders is unacceptable at any cost. We want clean air to breathe, clean water to drink and clean planet to live. Climate change is not only for me or for you or for someone else. Climate change problem is for every single person living in this world. Each and every child living in this country, living in this world is already the victim of climate change”.
Kangujam said that if the world is not knowing how to fix the problems, it should stop creating one. “We don’t know how to fix the forests now transformed into deserts. We don’t know how to fix the rivers and lakes now dry and dead. We don’t know how to fix the habitats of countless voiceless animals now used for mining,” she said. “If we don’t know how to fix it then please stop breaking it”.