Young activists table proposals for Glasgow climate talks

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Young activists attend the Youth4Climate pre-COP26 conference in Milan
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By Stephen Jewkes and Giulio Piovaccari

MILAN (Reuters) - Young activists on Wednesday tabled a slate of proposals for inclusion in the COP26 climate agenda, a day before Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi meets Swedish campaigner Greta Thunberg.

The proposals will be vetted by climate and energy ministers gathering at a meeting in Milan on Thursday, before some find their way to the U.N. COP26 summit in Glasgow in a month's time.

The Glasgow conference aims to secure more ambitious climate action from the nearly 200 countries who signed the 2015 Paris Agreement and agreed to try to limit human-caused global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Structured across four areas of action, the activist proposals include demands for a transparent climate finance system as well as a call for the total phasing out of the fossil fuel industry by 2030.

"(2030) is the limit we want to put, we don't want to say 2050... because this is our last chance," Iraqi activist Reem Alsaffar said.

"We're so tired of greenwashing and of companies selling us that."

The initiative is designed to give youngsters a seat at the table of climate talks as concern grows in their ranks that some countries might not be fully committed to targets.

Addressing activists from around 190 countries, Italy's Energy Transition Minister Roberto Cingolani said this was the first time youngsters had been given a chance to play such a direct role in climate policies.

"The proposals are excellent and a good base to start from... There's a lot to work on," he said.

The minister said a platform would be kept open until Oct. 25 so improvements to the final document could be made ahead of the Glasgow summit.

Italy, which currently holds the presidency of the G20, is co-host of the COP26 along with the UK.

Draghi and his UK counterpart Boris Johnson are scheduled to take part, either in person or remotely, in the Milan pre-COP26 meeting on Thursday along with COP26 president Alok Sharma and U.N. chief Antonio Guterres.

Draghi's office said he would be meeting Thunberg on Thursday.

(Reporting by Stephen Jewkes; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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