Girl Rising Announces Open Letter from Future Rising Fellows Ahead of COP28

NEW YORK, Dec. 4, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Girl Rising announces the release of an open letter authored by the 2023 Fellows of the Future Rising program, addressed to leaders of member states gathering for the 28th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP28). The letter emphasizes the need for an inclusive and cooperative negotiation process and urges leaders to prioritize climate education globally. It also calls on developed countries to fulfill their commitment to contribute an annual $100 billion USD to support climate activities in developing nations, particularly for adaptation and resilience. Additionally, the letter seeks urgent assistance for those living in regions facing imminent challenges from extreme heat, droughts and floods caused by climate change and El Nino.

“We are calling on governments and the private sector to listen to the voices of people from marginalized communities, especially youth, women, Indigenous peoples, people of color, and refugees. At a time when the climate crisis is depriving millions of children of their right to education, countries’ leaders need to engage all of their citizens in creating solutions, as well as providing financial and legal support,” said Future Rising Fellow Maria Yaschenko, who along with Collins Busuru, was a key author of the letter. Maria is a hydro-meteorologist and environmental educator who provides education access to vulnerable populations through online courses. Collins is a wildlife biologist based in Amboseli, Kenya, leading a project teaching conversation and ecosystem restoration skills to adolescent Maasai girls.

“The Future Rising Fellows are at the forefront, leading innovative solutions to combat climate change within their communities that advance both gender equity and girls’ access to education. We support their call for worldwide investment in climate education, which will play a pivotal role in our ability to address the climate crisis,” said Christina Lowery, Girl Rising CEO. “It is key to developing the knowledge, skills, and innovation required for adaptation and mitigation efforts, ensuring a better life for all.”

Disasters, many associated with extreme weather events caused by climate change, are increasing the number of displaced people each year. According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Portal, disasters triggered 32.6 million new internal displacements in 2022, making it the highest figure in a decade as well as 41 per cent higher than the annual average of the past decade. Children make up less than one third of the global population, but more than 41 per cent among the world’s refugees in 2022 according to UNICEF.

“Climate change poses an escalating barrier to young people’s education, especially girls who are disproportionately impacted. Yet, ensuring that young people’s right to education is protected, and that climate mitigation and adaptation are fully integrated into education plans is a key to the world’s ability to address this challenge. We hope the COP28 leaders heed the call of the Future Rising Fellows,” said Anna Hall, Girl Rising Chief Storytelling Officer and head of the Future Rising program.


Anna Hall, Chief Storytelling Officer,

Virginia Terry, Director of Strategic Communications,
, 646-369-0442

About Girl Rising
Girl Rising uses the power of storytelling to change the way the world values girls and their education. Working closely with local partners, we deliver culturally adapted programming to millions of adolescent girls and boys in eight countries, building voice, confidence and agency. We work with thousands of educators, parents and community members to address powerful social norms that hold girls back. Girl Rising collaborates with innovative educational partners in the countries where we work, providing training, networking and direct financial support, and adapting our educational resources to meet local needs.

About the Future Rising Fellowship
Girl Rising launched the Future Rising Fellowship program in 2021 to support emerging young leaders who are working to advance climate justice, girls’ education and gender equity. Through this annual Fellowship, Girl Rising supports a cohort of 10-12 young adults from around the world with leadership training, network-building, speaking opportunities and financial assistance. Girl Rising also provides storytelling training and technical support so that each Fellow completes a story in a medium of their choice about their work.

SOURCE Girl Rising