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How can young people join in the debate about climate change?

"When we're destroying the globe, you are the ones who will inherit it. Don't let politicians get away with it!"

On 16 October, Kofi Annan and Mary Robinson spoke on climate and ethical leadership with arctic explorer and environmental campaigner Parker Liautaud in front of a two-thousand-strong audience of young leaders at the One Young World Summit in Dublin.

Mary Robinson and Kofi Annan on stage at One Young World with Parker Liautaud

Kofi Annan and Mary Robinson led a live-streamed discussion with One Young World delegates – representing 160 different countries – and an online audience, on global citizenship and the empowerment of young people to lead on intergenerational issues such as climate change.

In the lead up, we invited climate questions for the two participating Elders – Kofi Annan and Mary Robinson – on Twitter using #OYWElders.


The Elders responded by speaking about the everyday things we can all do to reduce our impact, whether it's buying sustainable products or eating less meat. They also emphasised the importance of mobilising civil society to build momentum and pressure leaders to reach an ambitious and legally-binding climate agreement ahead of the 2015 deadline.

Reflecting the global nature of the audience, the Elders responded to a question from Chidza Sachidza from Harare, Zimbabwe.


Mary Robinson

Mary Robinson commented that the green economy creates new jobs while Kofi Annan highlighted the role of young people in reducing the impacts of climate change, telling the young audience:

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The Elders are independent global leaders, brought together by Nelson Mandela, who offer their collective influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity.

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