The next meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change/Kyoto Protocol will be taking place in Bali, Indonesia in December. Bali will determine the future international policy on climate change, and youth must make their voice heard. Between now and December, youth from across the globe will organize to bring a sense of urgency and rationality to the meeting. The future of the UNFCCC process is up for debate, and with it the future of international action to stop climate change. If the UNFCCC cannot respond to the urgent conclusions contained in the report of the IPCC, the ability of the international mechanism to respond to global challenges might become irrelevant.
The euphoria following the recent IPCC reports and the end of the current Convention Dialogue process point to Bali. Without continuous public pressure between now and December, politicians might forget that the purpose of the UNFCCC is the “stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system”, and not to develop a profitable, but useless, carbon market.
Failure in Bali could take us in the direction of other other ‘voluntary’ initiatives, such as the Asia-Pacific Partnership or a ninformal Emissions Trading Scheme linking carbon brokers outside of a multilateral deal. In addition, unless the world agrees on the pressing issues of adaptation, capacity building and technology transfer at Bali, vulnerable groups and communities will continue to suffer the impacts of the climate change without any source of support or form of redress.
The road to Bali is filled with challenges, meetings, hopes, and rhetorical diplomacy.With over 5 high level ministerial meetings on climate change between now and December, another session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on post-2012, and other informational consultations, it is imperative for global youth to prepare for long fight in Bali. More information will be shared on global youth efforts towards Bali.