Letters to Heads of State

November 2015

Letter to Heads of State from the Coalition of Grandparents against global warming

Providing for the safety of all the world’s children and grandchildren, and protecting their right to a sustainable planet is the highest moral duty of humankind. The UN convention on the Rights of the Child states, in Part 1, Article 6 (2) “States Parties shall ensure to the maximum extent possible the survival and development of the child.” We, as concerned elders and grandparents, call upon you, the world’s political leaders to keep this duty foremost in your mind as you meet throughout COP 21. Substantial progress here is absolutely vital in order to solve the climate change and climate justice challenges facing all life on this, our precious Earth.

Almost daily the urgency of your task is emphasised by the devastating effects on nature by anthro-pogenic global warming, be they droughts, tornadoes, flooding. The present difficulties of western countries to welcome refugees is the beginning of what we all will be coping with soon.

We elders and grandparents are following your progress of negotiations at the COP 21. We welcome the fact that most countries have presented their climate policy ambitions. Regrettably, most of the plans are too weak and the pace of implementation too slow. As documented in the UNEP sixth emissions Gap Report (Nov 2015), the present sum of pledges may increase temperature to 3.5°C, far beyond the 2°C threshold. Considering how little time we all have left to act on climate change, we strongly urge you to be one of those leaders that we will champion. Leaders that our world wants right now, leaders that firmly and rapidly will take the needed further steps and pursue climate actions, such as:

  • an agreement for all nations to reach a state of carbon neutrality by 2050
  • immediate measures for national emissions to be reduced on short term
  • divestment of governmental funds from the fossil industry
  • end all subsidising of the production and use of fossil fuels
  • taxation of fossil fuels to reflect their actual burden on society and environment

While you work on these critical issues, we elders and grandparents will not stand idly by. We will support courageous climate actions, we will speak and march for intergenerational climate justice, and we will use our long life experience to provide children and youth with opportunities to empower themselves to act for the future of this planet – their future.


Halfdan Wiik, hw@hsh.no Chair of Grandparents Climate Campaign, Norway, www.besteforeldreaksjonen.no

in coalition with

For Our Grandchildren, Canada, www.forourgrandchildren.org

The Suzuki Elders, Canada, www.suzukielders.org

Grand Parents Climate Action, UK, www.campaigncc.org/grandparents

Grands-parents pour le climat, Switzerland, http://gpc.climat.blogspot

Grands-parents pour le climat, Belgique, www.gpclimat.be

Grands-Parents pour le climat, France, https://www.facebook.com/gpcFrance?ref+hl