Boy, 13, shares climate concerns with UN Secretary-General

Year Nine student of International School Suva Daniel Graf. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

A YOUNG Fiji boy of German-descent is concerned about the rising impacts of climate change in the Pacific because the region has been home to him for the past 13 years.

Daniel Graf, a Year 9 student of International School in Suva, caught everyone’s attention at a youth interactive session last week because of the question he posed to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

The 13-year-old was at the University of the South Pacific’s Laucala campus for the event.

“I am originally from Germany, but I’ve never lived there,” he said.

“I’ve lived my whole life in island countries so I see it as a major issue that developed countries like China, the US and even Germany are not focusing on the effects, but more on what it could bring to them to stop it,” he said.

“I feel it’s just a horrible thing and everyone around the world should feel the same about it.”

He then proceeded to ask Mr Guterres if he had seen the danger in that more and more resources were invested in adaptation and mitigation method, thus, taking the focus off the fight of global warming beyond the target of 1.5 to 2 degrees.

In response, Mr Guterres said the decisions from 2020 was financing.

“We are having some successes,” he said.

Mr Guterres said the World Bank had decided to double its funding for climate action.

“One of the reasons why we were worried was that there would be a lot of concentration of funds in mitigation, but not in adaptation.

“For the developing world, adaptation is essential because, unfortunately, climate change is already there and the impacts are now so we need a much stronger commitment to adaptation and we are working on that.”

Meanwhile, in an interview with this newspaper, Graf said he participated in the Model UN program at school and wanted to attend the session at USP to hear what Mr Guterres had to say about climate change.

“Climate change is a big issue that we all need to focus on. It’s not enough just saying that you will do something. It should be the main priority of every country in the world at this moment.”

More Stories