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Museum for the United Nations - UN Live



Bringing children's voices to COP26 negotiations

Climate justice cannot happen without intergenerational justice.

It demands we look to young people as the agents of change they already are – here and now - and support them in leveraging their own agency to create the future world that they believe in. That we push for a world in which young people are empowered to steer the solutions.

We know that children will bear the greatest burden of climate change, yet their voices remain the most underrepresented in almost all decision forums. “That’s a huge omission,” says CEO of Museum for the United Nations - UN Live, Molly Fannon. “Not only because it is an injustice to the future generation, but because this group holds enormous power NOW – power we have to tap into. We, at UN Live, recognise that power comes from everyone, everywhere, regardless of age. We must take children’s insights and demands to the core of decision-making. And we must act accordingly.”

That’s why UN Live is working with Studio Olafur Eliasson and AKQA on Earth Speakr to elevate kids’ voices and ideas – from all corners of the world. Through Earth Speakr – a digital artwork – we provide children opportunity to raise their voices on their own terms – and we are working to make sure adults listen and act.

This last week at COP26, we brought the worries and wishes, dreams and demands of children into the most critical conversation of our time, projecting their messages onto the biggest screen in Glasgow, at the very centre of the negotiations: the facade of the SEC Armadillo. Decision-makers – and the world – heard their message loud and clear: “It’s our Earth and it’s our future”.

According to UN Live’s cofounder and artist Olafur Eliasson, “COP26 in Glasgow is a definitive moment for us all. It is where heads of state and their dedicated teams must make binding decisions to significantly slow down the effects of climate change. It is where we must settle on preventing further destruction of other lifeforms on our planet. It is where we must ensure that Earth becomes habitable for future generations, and we must do so to guarantee intergenerational justice.

I conceived the artwork Earth Speakr with kids around the world. It's their voices, their concerns about the climate and their hopes for the future which must be heard by global leaders at COP26. I hope that Earth Speakr continues to be an important reminder to decision-makers to listen and act now to secure a planet that will be liveable for all.”

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