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The Next Economy
Al Gore Inviting Youth to Challenge World Leaders on Climate Change

The voices of the world’s younger generation — who potentially have the most to lose from climate change — have predominantly been left unheard in the whole debate about how (or if) to deal with it. Former Vice President Al Gore hopes to change that, however, with the launch of a new campaign offering young people the opportunity to have their say when the world’s leaders meet in New York next month for the UN Climate Summit.

Gore’s Why? Why Not? campaign, launched last week, is urging young people from across the globe to challenge the world’s leaders on their actions towards climate change. The initiative is led by Gore’s Climate Reality Project and funded by a group of eight WPP (the world’s leading communications group) agencies — GPY&R Sydney, JWT, Maxus, the Futures Company, PPR Australia, the Glover Park group, Blue State Digital, and affiliate media company VICE.

The campaign is aimed at young people, ages 13 to 21, in the countries vital to reaching an international agreement — including Australia, Canada, China, Brazil, India, Philippines and the USA — and asking them to submit a short video asking the world’s leaders two simple questions: one on our current approach to tackling climate change (“why?”), and how we could in the future (“why not?”). Nobel laureate Gore, who told the world his own Inconvenient Truth back in 2006, recorded his own video calling on today’s teens to do the same.

“Climate change is the number-one issue facing humanity today and should be acknowledged as such by our leaders. It is important for the future of our children to ask world leaders “Why?” and “Why not?” and drive our elected officials to act on climate change,” United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s 21st Conference of the Parties, hosted in Paris in December 2015.

Despite (or maybe because of) the failure of previous UN International summits such as Kyoto and Copenhagen, there have been a range of companies, even those invested in the longevity of fossil fuels, who have taken their own steps towards creating a more sustainable, low-carbon future. Just last month, the World Wildlife Fund and World Resources Institute announced that twelve major US companies (including Bloomberg, Facebook, General Motors and Intel) signed their Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles, in the hope that it can increase their opportunities to collaborate with renewable energy suppliers.

In the lead-up to the International Climate Summit next month, the UN have called on major companies to take a leading role by showing their support for a Carbon Pricing Scheme, citing it as a necessary and effective way of tackling climate change.

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