19-year-old Yugratna Srivastava, a second year engineering student, represented the youth at the Paris convention on global warming, yesterday. She was among the six participants selected by the UN for the April 22 ceremony – on World Mother Earth Day – where 150 countries signed the Paris agreement on climate change.
Yugratna is India’s ‘Green Girl’. She became the youngest person to address as many as 100 world leaders at the 2009 United Nation summit on climate change in New York.
In December 2015, Yugratna, while at the Conference of Parties, COP21 in Paris, had said that India is polluted because of its great dependence on coal and oil. On the opening day, Yugratna had made a presentation to world leaders, including PM Narendra Modi and US president Barack Obama. At this very conference, Yugratna, interviewed the UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, at the `Earth to Paris’ event which took place on December 7 at Petit Palais.
Elated to be part of the event, Yugratna told The Times Of India, “COP21 (Conference of Parties) at Paris was close to my heart. When the Paris agreement was finalized after two hectic weeks in December, there was a sense of achievement worldwide. But more than that, there was an air of uncertainty. The dream is now turning into reality.”
Yugratna added, “I am happy that I will be representing youth and civil society at the ceremony. It is empowering to know that our voices are valued. Despite all differences, we all need to stand together more than ever to make this a reality.”