Climate Promise-the youth from Ohrid are ready to help in transforming pledges to impact
October 25, 2023
While the marathon athletes were swimming through the waters of Lake Ohrid in record speed this year, on a hot summer day in late August, the UNDP team was having a creative, inspiring and invigorating dialogue on the shore near the finish line, with the students from the high school „Sts. Cyril and Methodius“.
The topic was the challenge of Climate change, what must be done to better deal with it and how should the youth of the country play a more active and influential role in this process.
The young boys and girls from the high school in Ohrid, were split up in groups and under the guidance of the UNDP team they were tasked with identifying the key climate change challenges that the country and the world face.
The students correctly identified that the main driver of climate change is the greenhouse effect, when some gases in the atmosphere act like the glass in a greenhouse, trapping the sun's heat and stopping it from leaking back into space and causing global warming
While many of these greenhouse gases occur naturally, human activities are increasing the concentrations of some of them in the atmosphere, in particular: carbon dioxide (CO2); methane; nitrous oxide and fluorinated gases.
The students from „Sts. Cyril and Methodius“ correctly pointed out the negative effect that the deforestation has on the worsening of the climate change crisis, since the trees help to regulate the climate by absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere.
When they are cut down, that beneficial effect is lost and the carbon stored in the trees is released into the atmosphere, adding to the greenhouse effect.
The burning of coal, oil and gas was also defined by the students as a huge problem which worsens the crisis.
The exercise wasn’t only focused on the causes of Climate Change but also on the process of discovering solutions and the most effective measures for addressing the challenge.
As a solution to the excessive use of fossil fuels, the students proposed that the World needs to use renewable energy sources, such as the sunlight and wind, which are sources that are constantly being replenished at a higher rate than they are consumed.
The transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy is the key to addressing the climate crisis, firmly believe the youth from Ohrid, adding that the renewable energy sources are also plentiful and all around us and they include geothermal and bioenergy.
Another solution that the students offered was the practice of afforestation which should help increase the natural absorption of carbon dioxide.
The workshop in the open air in Ohrid was also attended by the President of North Macedonia, Stevo Pendarovski and the Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme in the country, Armen Grigoryan.
They listened to the ideas of the students, who clearly expressed their concern about the Climate Change crisis that the planet is facing, while also engaging with them in an open dialogue and exchange of opinions. President Pendarovski highlighted the strong commitments that the Government in Skopje has undertaken with regards to its enhanced National Determined Contribution to the global efforts for GHG emissions reduction, which was prepared with the support of UNDP, through the Climate Promise initiative.
North Macedonia has pledged that by the year 2030, it will achieve 51% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, compared with 1990 levels. Expressed in net2 emissions, in 2030, the country commits to 82% reduction compared to 1990 levels.
The event in Ohrid is part of the process of еstablishing of the Youth Climate Hub, which is an integral part of the project „Climate promise -from Pledge to Impact“, funded by Sweden, which UNDP is implementing.
The effort is designed to establish and strengthen stakeholder engagement platforms and to empower key actors to lead NDC implementation processes and long-term climate action.
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