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COP26 CVF Leaders’ Dialogue Statement by Ms. Nisreen Elsaim, Chair of the Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change

Climate Vulnerable Forum Leaders Dialogue COP26

4:15 – 6:15 pm 2 November 2021 – UNFCCC COP26, Glasgow, Scotland

Intervention of Ms. Nisreen Elsaim

Chair of the Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change


Vulnerability is a big small word but it means big things. Vulnerability is so different and so differentiated between countries between even in one country, between areas and of course, between genders and different age groups. And just to prove some of the points I’m going to make in my speech, I would need your reactions as an audience to with me if you, if you may. Okay, first of all, if you are under the age of 30, please raise your hand. We are six in a room that have more than 50 present here. Another vulnerability, if you are a female, please raise your hand. So having 17 or 18 presence of females in a room that have more than 60 is also a vulnerability. actually vulnerabilities do not end in this closed rooms, it continues in the negotiations, in flights, when we reach the country, it continues in accessing education, it continues in accessing health services. Vulnerability is a translation for inequalities and inequalities is representation to what the basic convention climate change convention was based on, which is historical responsibility plus common and shared responsibilities. If we did not really take care of, of these two values that we actually are here because of, and if we did not really consider the different needs of the different continents, different countries and different regions, even within the country, then we are not doing good enough. 

Earlier someone asked me, what is your goal? And I said, my goal is to make the most vulnerable just vulnerable. And then they asked me why, and I said because we are talking about building resilient communities, yet we do not have enough finance for that, we do not have enough political will for that, we do not have enough technology for that. And dreaming about resilient community without of these tools that actually enables us to reach this resilient community is not going to happen only in an utopian world that we don’t live in. A lot of people go this climate anxiety, which they say young people always shout, there is nothing enough, not enough, what you’re doing is not enough. This is not climate anxiety, ladies and gentlemen, this is climate reality. This is the reality we are living in. This is reality I see every time I walk in the street in my house, in my homeland in Sudan, this is the reality where the whole word was in lockdown inside of their houses. But more than 800,000 of Sudan’s population had to stay outside not because they wanted to, not because we don’t have COVID, but because their houses were drifted by floats. In 2020 alone, more than 11 African countries announced severe floats and for some reason, which is called climate change, this year, 2021 more than seven countries in Africa announced drought. 

So ladies and gentlemen, we are going in by far worse situation than we were back in 2015, when we had the Paris agreement, or even back in 1992, when we had the earth summit. The only way of getting out of the situation is by actions and not only any actions but target oriented actions. We need to have reducing emissions by X amount. If we did not succeed reaching the X amount this is a failure. And we need to name things as it is. We need to mobilize X amount of climate finance, if we failed to mobilize these resources, then this is a failure. And I realized that we are talking about future generation and you are talking about us as future generation, but very soon, someone else is going to be talking about us, the future generation as the previous generation and I am sure me and the rest of the young people cannot hold the burden of not seeing the truth of not working towards climate change. Can you hold this burden? If not let’s work together, we are re ready to work with you all to have a better life, a better future for all of us. 

Thank you very much. 

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