Global Blue New Deal: Youth voices unite in call for ocean and climate action

By Youth Voices for Ocean Climate Action | November 5, 2021

Negotiations at COP26 have profound implications on the welfare and quality of life of current and future generations. However, COP26 suffers unique logistical hurdles this year, partly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This challenges the ability for youth voices calling for intergenerational environmental action, especially from the Global South, to be heard and to be channeled into action.

Importantly, this year’s COP must address how to leverage the ocean as a tool in combating the climate crisis. Youth recognize the crucial role the ocean plays in keeping us alive: our ocean regulates our climate and provides food, oxygen, and ecosystem services essential to our well-being. The USD$3 trillion ocean economy also supports more than 60+ million livelihoods. Our ocean faces many challenges, but the greatest threat is the lack of political will behind ocean action. In 2018, a survey found that SDG14: Life Under Water was prioritized least by global leaders, even though it has profound impacts on achieving SDGs on hunger and climate.

Recognizing the ocean-climate connection and the need for youth calls for ocean and climate action to be amplified, Sustainable Ocean Alliance’s Youth Policy Advisory Council solicited video submissions from young, regional environmental leaders. These submissions feature voices from Latin America, Asia, and Africa that showcase how climate change has impacted local communities and the policy demands that youth expect to see from COP 26.

We offer this repository of youth voices as a call to action for the UNFCCC delegations attending COP to act on ocean and climate.

These voices complement the Global Blue New Deal, an inclusive ocean and climate policy framework crowdsourced from youth and subject matter experts globally. Just as youth voices are unified and amplified through this repository of two-minute videos, the Global Blue New Deal is the culmination of hundreds of youth voices from around the world calling for ocean and climate action.

We encourage you to listen to the demands of these underrepresented young environmental leaders and to act to preserve our future before it becomes too late — not just for generations to come, but for our planet as we know it.

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