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CLIMATE PROTECTION AND SUSTAINABILITY AS THE GREATEST GLOBAL CHALLENGE UN CLIMATE ACTION SUMMIT – NEW YORK

Errachid Montassir
HAF Project Manager

The challenges facing our world at the moment are highly complex, and they are going to affect us all sooner or later: climate change, dwindling natural resources and scarcities of fresh water and foodstuffs. One thing seems clear: we must not waste any more time discussing the problems we are facing and resigning ourselves to powerlessness and paralysis. We need to rethink, we must take definitive action and change our ways, not only as individuals but also collectively. This is what many scientific climate research studies show. Equally, we must not allow ourselves to randomly pursue small, individual actions and short-term projects for greater sustainability. Instead, we must attempt to keep the big picture in sight all the time. As the sustainable world requires people who can think laterally and contribute in discussions and finding solutions, and citizens who examine and question the implementation of sustainability promises made by business people and politicians.
Now, how do we address this enormous social puzzle? And what are our greatest and most important actions?
The United Nations (UN) paved the road to all contributors “World leaders Youth and Government officials” to advance the climate actions through organizing two major summits: The First ever UN Youth Climate Summit and the Climate action Summit.
A day after thousands of young people marched and rallied for urgent climate action, young leaders brought their message to the United Nations for the Youth Climate Summit, and before the Climate Action Summit, on September 21st, 2019 the UN brought youth climate champions together from more than 140 countries and territories to a platform to share their solutions on the global stage, and deliver a clear message to world leaders: “we need to act now to address climate change”, and to meaningfully engage with them on the defining issue of our time.
The UN Secretary General H.E António Guterres was fully engaged with all the ideas coming from youth, which were focused more on the way of involving the young people in building climate solutions through creating NGOs and Enterprises that lead to advance the climate actions, as well as to be part of the decisions into the environment. “We are not yet there,” H.E. Guterres said, adding that we are “still losing the race” against climate change. “But there is a change in momentum. “I have granddaughters. I want them to live in a livable planet. My generation has a huge responsibility. It is your generation that must hold us accountable to make sure we don’t betray the future of humankind.” He added.

The outcomes of this event clearly fed into the Climate Action Summit, which was organized after the Youth Climate Summit, as this opportunity gave voice to the demands of young people for far swifter action to reduce the climate issues.
The UN Secretary-General called on all leaders to come to New York on September, 23rd with concrete, realistic plans to enhance their nationally determined contributions by 2020, in line with reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent over the next decade, and to net zero emissions by 2050.
The Summit brought together heads of state and government, business CEOs, civil society leaders, the private sector, local authorities as well as other international organizations to develop ambitious solutions in six areas: a global transition to renewable energy; sustainable and resilient infrastructures and cities; sustainable agriculture and management of forests and oceans; resilience and adaptation to climate impacts; and alignment of public and private finance with a net zero economy.
More than half of the participants agreed on that accelerated climate solutions can strengthen our economies and create jobs, while bringing cleaner air, preserving natural habitats and biodiversity, and protecting our environment. And that new technologies and engineering solutions are already delivering energy at a lower cost than the fossil-fuel driven economy. Solar and onshore wind are now the cheapest sources of new bulk power in virtually all major economies. But we must set radical change in motion engaging youth in these major processes.
The High Atlas Foundation (HAF) as a Moroccan – American NGO participated in both of the summits, in order to present its sustainable development mission and the environmental commitment, which are reflected in multiple initiatives with all the Moroccan regions, under major partnership agreements with several partners from around the world.
Following what all Moroccans carry in their hearts, the kingdom and the United Nations visions, the HAF is contributing to advance the climate change solutions through:

  • The decentralization of the renewable energies in Morocco, as the country’s energy strategy, 52% of its energy needs should be met through renewable means of energy production by 2030.
  • Working with the United Nations Development Program, to reach out most of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) via growing organic fruit tree nurseries with the Moroccan communities, and advance the economic growth.
  • Accessing the carbon credit market after planting 2 million organic fruit trees since 2014, with a vision of reinvesting it in building environmental and agricultural development projects with the Moroccan communities.
  • Engaging youth in developing initiatives and projects under the principle of the participatory approach.
  • Empowering rural women and bring them to the decision of implementing development and environmental projects.

The HAF is committed to furthering sustainable development, as it supports Moroccan communities to take action in implementing human and environmental development initiatives.
Anybody looking to the future full of hope and confidence is demonstrably involved more actively and intensively in the search for innovative solutions for the existing climate issue. However, it is also understandable that many people are afraid of incalculable risks and unforeseen catastrophes, whether they are of an ecological or social nature. Now what human should strongly believe in is taking these fears seriously and mitigate them instead of encouraging a fatalistic, passive inertia.

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