British Youth Council visits No 10 – to promote the Action 2015 – Poverty Campaign

The British Youth Council is proud to join leading charities at the launch of Action/2015, a movement of thousands of organisations, coalitions and partnerships taking concrete actions and ambitious agreements that reflect local struggles around the world and leave no-one behind.

On the 15th of January, Rowan Munson, Leader of Mole Valley Youth Council and a member of our National Scrutiny Group, joined politicians and campaigners at the launch of Action/2015. Rowan joined 15 year olds from across the country in presenting an open letter to Ed Miliband, calling for the right decisions and the right path in the year ahead then meeting MPs before visiting 10 Downing Street.

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According to new research, almost a billion extra people face a life of extreme poverty if leaders duck key decisions on poverty, inequality and climate change due to be taken at two crucial summits in New York and Paris later this year, with billions more continuing to face a life of hardship.

That’s the message thousands of organisations around the world sending to local and world leaders to take urgent action to halt man-made climate change, eradicate poverty and address inequality.

The new calculation released by the action/2015 coalition shows that, even using relatively conservative scenarios,  the number of people living in extreme poverty – on less than $1.25 a day (82 pence) – could be reduced dramatically from over a billion to 360 million by 2030.

Based on work by the University of Denver, in the year 2030, about 4 % of the global population would live in extreme poverty, (compared to 17% today) if critical policy choices on inequality, poverty investment and climate change are made this year and implemented thereafter.  Estimates of other researchers, looking at a longer list of variables, show that the eradication of extreme poverty is achievable for the first time in history – a key objective of the campaign.

However, if leaders fail to deliver and build on the growing momentum for ambitious deals at the UN Special Summit on Sustainable Development in September and the UN Climate talks in Paris in December, and scale back their efforts, the number of people living in extreme poverty could actually increase to 1.2 billion by 2030. This increase would be the first in a generation (since 1993) and almost a billion higher (886million) than if resolute action is taken. Under this scenario 1 in 3 of the world’s population would live under $2 a day.

Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Prize winner and strong advocate for the right to education said:
“2015 must be the year the world wakes up and delivers a safer, more just future for children and young people. We all must play our part in ensuring this is the case. Do not let this opportunity go to waste.”