Young activists from 110 countries want climate change action


June 18, 2010 Updated Aug 17, 2009 at 1:31 PM EDT

More than 800 young environmental activists from 110 countries on Monday began a meeting described as the biggest-ever youth gathering on climate change.

The week-long conference in the central South Korean city of Daejeon is organised by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

It will give young people a chance to demand action on global warming before a crucial Copenhagen meeting in December, according to UNEP.

Achim Steiner, UNEP executive director, said in a statement the conference "is a gathering of the generation that will inherit the outcome of the decisions taken in December and beyond."

The 800 people aged between 10 and 24 year were chosen from thousands of applicants due to their outstanding green projects, the UN body said.

Among these are a rap video by two Canadian teenagers on how people can reduce their environmental footprint, a drive to distribute 500 low-energy lightbulbs in Nepal, a car pooling initiative in Samoa, a recycling project in Sierra Leone and a river clean-up in Russia.

The initiatives will be put to a vote during the conference to choose the best one out of several hundreds on display.

The Children and Youth Conference is part of the UN's global "Seal the Deal!" campaign being spearheaded by Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to spur support for a global climate agreement.

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