GENEVA / GRAF CLIMATE ACTIVIST

17-Sep-2019 00:02:03
Before leaving to go to the United Nations’ first Youth Climate Summit in New York as a special guest of the global body, Swiss activist Marie-Claire Graf told journalists in Geneva on Tuesday that world leaders needed to “take young people seriously” to find solutions to the planet’s “existential” crisis. UNTV CH
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STORY: GENEVA / GRAF CLIMATE ACTIVIST
TRT: 2:03
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH /NATS

DATELINE: 17 SEPTEMBER 2019 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1. Wide shot, exterior, Palais des Nations
2. Med shot, journalists and podium with speakers
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Marie-Claire Graf, Swiss Youth Climate Summit Activist:
“There is really no time to wait because I guess what is the biggest problem that we still think climate change is something which may happen in, yeah, some years, but we are in a huge crisis which is existential.”
4. Med shot, podium with speakers
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Marie-Claire Graf, Swiss Youth Climate Summit Activist:
“Both summits will serve as a platform for leaders from all different sectors who are ready to mobilize and raise ambition that what result in a hence irreversible commitment to action in a national climate plan to galvanize bottom-up actions from cities, regions, civil society, private sector and also higher education institutions.”
6. Wide shot, journalists.
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Marie-Claire Graf, Swiss Youth Climate Summit Activist:
“I’m super-excited to present and officially launch the Sustainability Week International which I co-founded after the immense success of the Sustainability Week Switzerland. The Sustainability Week Switzerland is the largest student movement here in Switzerland in sustainability and was co-founded by some friends and me in summer 2017 because of the lack of commitment from universities and higher education institutions.”
8. Med shot, journalists listening
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Marie-Claire Graf, Swiss Youth Climate Summit Activist:
“Take young people seriously and include them in decision-making bodies, so we don’t only be like somewhere on the agenda but we want to be seat on the table when decisions are made. I guess this would be a major step to really take young people seriously in all kind of multilateral negotiations and decisions.”
10. Close up, journalist.
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Marie-Claire Graf, Swiss Youth Climate Summit Activist:
“I’m doing my offshore sailing licence, I’m soon finishing it, I hope to sail to the COP which will happen in Chile, the UNFCCC COP… but for this time is was too short of an announcement so I cannot unfortunately sail, so this time I will have to take a plane. It will be compensated by the UN; I know it’s not the best, but at least (it’s) something”.
12. Close up, journalist, listening.
13. Close up, photographer.
14. Med shot, journalists.
STORYLINE
Before leaving to go to the United Nations’ first Youth Climate Summit in New York as a special guest of the global body, Swiss activist Marie-Claire Graf told journalists in Geneva on Tuesday that world leaders needed to “take young people seriously” to find solutions to the planet’s “existential” crisis.

Graf, 23, is one of 100 young advocates from around the world given Green Tickets to attend Saturday’s meeting, where they can showcase their solutions and press decision-makers for concrete action. Under the initiative, each ticket is fully-funded and carbon-neutral, to enable youngsters from all walks of life to attend.

Other engaged youngsters, such as Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, are already in New York ahead of the youth summit, which precedes the Climate Action Summit convened by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on 23 September.

“There is really no time to wait because I guess what is the biggest problem that we still think climate change is something which may happen in some years, but we are in a huge crisis which is existential,” said Graf.

Speaking to reporters at the Palais des Nations in the Swiss city, the climate and sustainable development advocate highlighted the potential for positive action to tackle global warming at discussions in New York.

“Both summits will serve as a platform for leaders from all different sectors who are ready to mobilize and raise ambition that what result in a hence(forth) irreversible commitment to action in a national climate plan to galvanize bottom-up actions from cities, regions, civil society, private sector and also higher education institutions,” she insisted.

Graf explained how her engagement in climate issues and sustainability stemmed from her belief that too little was being done by the authorities.
In her country, where she works as a teaching assistant, she has garnered widespread grassroots support after co-founding Sustainability Week Switzerland. Its aim is to transform Swiss higher education institutions into sustainable role models.

The initiative – which is being launched internationally - involves organizing events on sustainability, lobbying university representatives and working with local cafeterias on reducing waste.

“I’m super-excited to present and officially launch the Sustainability Week International which I co-founded after the immense success of the Sustainability Week Switzerland,” she said. “The Sustainability Week Switzerland is the largest student movement here in Switzerland in sustainability and was co-founded by some friends and me in summer 2017 because of the lack of commitment from universities and higher education institutions.”

Asked what her message was ahead of the climate summits, she called for global decision-makers to “take young people seriously and include them in decision-making bodies”, ensure they’re not just “somewhere on the agenda”, but rather given “a seat on the table when decisions are made”.

This, she insisted, would be “a major step to really take young people seriously in all kind of multilateral negotiations and decisions”.

Asked light-heartedly by a journalist how she felt about the fact that her carbon footprint was unlikely to be as green as Greta Thunberg’s, since she would be flying to New York rather than sailing, as Thunberg had done, Graf replied that she hoped to emulate the young Swede’s navigational prowess by taking her skippers’ licence.

“I’m soon finishing it,” she said. “I hope to sail to the COP (Conference of Parties Climate Change Conference in December 2019) which will happen in Chile… so I cannot unfortunately sail, so this time I will have to take a plane. It will be compensated by the UN; I know it’s not the best, but at least (it’s) something”.
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