#Decarbonize Global Youth Whitepaper

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Our world's most important resource is water: drinkable water makes up just 2.5% of the water on Earth. We must find a way to effectively manage our limited supply of potable water. Overexploitation of water by large industries, such as textile and agricultural producers, must come to an end through water-use restrictions. Water restriction policy has been recommended by both South Africa and Canada. Both countries agree that there should be restrictions placed on corporate and civilian water allowances. Water pollution has disastrous consequences, and there should be strong penalties for those that partake in it. Youth from the Philippines have called for governments to dispose of their citizens' waste in a more sustainable manner. Taiwan proposes a government-imposed manufacturing surcharge on overpackaged products. We also need a moratorium on the production of plastic bags. These take hundreds of years to break down - an intergenerational source of pollution. Pollution of our water sources also occurs at a corporate level. For example, acid mine drainage, where water runoff from chemical deposits in mines causes massive losses of aquatic life, can destroy entire ecosystems. We, the global youth, believe companies who pollute water should face strong penalties imposed by countries they affect. Aquatic ecosystems are communities of organisms that depend upon each other and on their environment. Establishment of marine parks, no-boating zones, and implementation of sustainable fishing practices, as suggested by Peru, would help protect marine life. This protection need not be limited to the oceans; freshwater wetlands, an important carbon sink, also need to be protected. Pollution of freshwater can lead to eutrophication, where oxygen-consuming algal blooms cause other species to die off. Use of climate-smart water management tools can reduce the amount of water and quantity of pollutants used in agriculture. For example, the youth of India suggest a hand-held meter and app called Green Seeker allows farmers to know when and with great precision. "While it would be difficult to completely stop industry, guidelines and restrictions should be put in place to limit the amount of pollution produced." (Australia) "In India, the surface water that was available to each one us of us has been polluted and degraded, thanks to all of the industries who pour their effluents into the water." (India) Resilience & Adaptation We demand that governments enact the following policies to increase the resilience of those countries most impacted by climate change: • Provide further economic aid to developing countries for sustainable development. • Subsidize sustainable infrastructure projects. • Preserve biodiversity through national parks and wildlife reserves. • Involve community organizations in disaster response and education.

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