Students from across Europe have sent letters imploring top United Nations and European Union officials to "stop hiding science about global collapse" and finally come clean about the perils of out-of-control human consumption and planet-warming emissions.
U.N. officials blame governments for inaction, who in turn blame electorates who don't want cuts in the products they love, which are made by means of extractions and emissions."
—Paolo van Dommelen, student representative
The students—who represent 24,500 children from the Schola Europaea international schools and whose parents include personnel of key E.U. institutions—charge that "the U.N. has failed to reveal to the public the undisputed scientific realities that nothing meaningful has been, is, or is intended to be done to prevent unsustainable development including climate change from inevitably resulting in global social and economic collapse."
Specifically, the letters' signees are calling on leading global institutions publicize U.N. objectives on sustainable development and climate stabilization, and the international community's failure to meet those objectives.
In 1987, the U.N.'s Brundtland Commission produced the "Our Common Future" report (pdf), which declared, "Sustainable development seeks to meet the needs and aspirations of the present without compromising the ability to meet those of the future." The U.N. General Assembly, in turn, passed a resolution calling on member states and U.N. bodies to pursue sustainable development.
In 1992, all U.N. member states adopted the Framework Convention on Climate Change (pdf), a treaty stating that the ultimate objective of all signatories is the "stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system."
The students, in their letters, outline the world's past, present, and projected future failures to meet both objectives. On behalf of students across Europe, they demand that U.N. and E.U. bodies "keep our future uncompromised with another 5,000 years of civilizations and inform the public of crucial scientific findings immediately by prominently including them in organization publications and websites."
Those targeted by the campaign include U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the U.N. Human Rights High Commissioner, and the heads of UNEP, UNDP, UNESCO, UNFCCC, Michelle Bachelet, UNICEF, IPCC, the E.U. Commission and the E.U. Council. The students' parents work for the European Parliament, Council, Commission, Court of Justice, Central Bank, and Court of Auditors.
As part of the requested details on global failures to meet sustainable development and climate stabilization objectives, the students want these institutions to publicize "national per capita responsibility for objective failures and collapse." They further demand that these bodies advocate for legislation on natural resource use and greenhouse gas emissions that is actually "sufficient for objective success."
"The E.U. and U.S. must do their responsible share or other nations will not. This won't happen unless people including our parents, teachers, and peers are informed by the U.N. now."
—Patricija Marijauskaite, student representative
"U.N. officials blame governments for inaction, who in turn blame electorates who don't want cuts in the products they love, which are made by means of extractions and emissions," Paolo van Dommelen, a student representative from Italy and the Netherlands, said in statement.
"For 30 years governments have made no meaningful consumption or emission cuts, now they say that reductions required today are impossibly large," added Annele Baltmane, a student from Latvia. "They should go on to admit that from their point of view, there will never be a right time or amount to cut—and this would mean collapse is inevitable, our future destroyed."
"The E.U. and U.S. must do their responsible share or other nations will not. This won't happen unless people including our parents, teachers, and peers are informed by the U.N. now," concluded Patricija Marijauskaite of Lithuania. "This is why withholding knowledge about consumption and climate combining to cause collapse is such a truly terrible crime against humanity."