The climate crisis impacts the entire globe, and persons of all ages experience the negative and harsh consequences of climate change. However, climate change disproportionately impacts older persons, especially older women, persons living in situation of poverty, and older persons with disabilities. Despite this, older persons are often not consulted or included in efforts to address the climate crisis.
The impact of climate change is clearly seen, and it is evident that governments and industry leaders need to take action. But how can older persons contribute to and be active agents to combat against climate change? Older persons have a powerful voice and have the right to use their voice to be actively and meaningfully engaged participants in climate change activism. Their experience and knowledge that comes from longevity, combined with their concern for the present and future, is a powerful combination and paramount in making sure the climate crisis is adequately addressed. It is key that intergenerational partnerships become integrated into the government and private sector to effectively work towards climate change and ensure success.
Why must older persons be active agents in tackling the climate crisis? Climate change impacts human rights including “rights to life, health, food, water and sanitation, housing, decent work, culture, and development”. Based on past research, older persons benefit from contributing to the climate change movement and enjoy improved mental and physical health as a result of their involvement. Moreover, society at large can benefit from older persons’ knowledge and experience with traditional practices when tackling the climate crisis.
Welcome and Opening Remarks:
- Lisa Warth, Chief, Population Unit, Statistical Division, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)
- Ambassador Rui Macieira, Portugal
- Claudia Mahler, Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons
- Monica Ferro, Director, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Geneva Office
- Stefanie Brander, Representative of KlimaSeniorinnen Schweiz (Senior Women for Climate Protection Switzerland)
- Carole Osero-Ageng'o, Global Initiatives Lead & Africa Regional Representative, HelpAge International
- Karl Pillemer, Professor and Senior Associate Dean, Cornell University
- Miklòs Veszprémi, Representative of Swiss Youth for Climate
- Frances Zainoeddin, Representative to the United Nations, International Federation on Ageing
- Liat Ayalon, Co-Secretary, NGO Committee on Ageing Geneva
Watch the webinar recording at this link: https://youtu.be/xwk_ymuagiE