[ASK-Y 2023] Session 4 | Climate Action: Exploring Sustainability as a Multifactor Paradigm
November 27, 2023 — In the fourth session of Asia Society Korea Youth (ASK-Y), participants looked at the expansive discourse of sustainability through a social lens. Under the guidance of H.E. Michelle Winthrop, the Ambassador of Ireland to the Republic of Korea, and moderated by Edwyna Kurniawan, they dove into climate action, the importance of gender equality, and youth empowerment.
Ambassador Winthrop underscored the need to assess the actions taken by countries in anticipation of the upcoming COP28 in the UAE. She emphasized the importance of bridging the gap between developed and developing states. Her Excellency also highlighted the significance of reviewing existing initiatives like loss and damage funding, while also stressing the human element—encouraging active listening and mutual understanding to comprehensively achieve our shared goals.
During her presentation, the ambassador delved into climate action and its connection to the SDGs, highlighting the necessity of establishing a foundation and framework for future generations. Specifically, she emphasized the importance of placing education and curricula on the agenda to leave a lasting impact on youth. Bridging generational conflicts and advocating for young people was deemed essential, given their agency in demanding change. Ambassador Winthrop stressed the significance of engaging and empowering women, recognizing the notable link between gender equality and climate action. She advocated for change on the micro, meso, and macro levels, illustrating the importance of using reusable utensils.
The session scrutinized the broad and multifaceted discourse of sustainability, with participants exploring various levels of action. It is crucial for the international community and participating states to implement the climate discourse in international justice and focus on country-specific policies. Corporate governance and social responsibility remained relevant at the meso level, while cross-generational education and behavior changes were deemed fundamental at the micro level to "not only talk the talk but also walk the walk."