by Jesse Boudart, Cascade Climate Network
Week 1 is finished. Negotiations moved forward, even though they still seem at a standstill. The G77 seem adamant of the mitigation numbers, 1.5 C and 350 ppm. I don’t blame them for their demands because of the implication of 2 C could mean certain destruction for many of their island states. Even worse, I feel like I am just emitting hot air from our requests.
I feel powerless. I have been meeting in our technology transfer group, to review the policy papers that are on the table, many of which we aren’t even supposed to have. Thankfully, we have a chance to review them and read what is going through the writers’ heads. I wish they were stronger. I also wish that there was something concrete we could work toward. We are surely making recommendations to improve the papers, some of which we submitted to our US writers. But overall, who knows if they will actually take them. Further, who knows if the negotiators will actually to agree to them. In the end though, the text is simply not as strong as it should be, not as responsible as it should be.
Through these dire seeming outcomes, it is good to blow off some steam. Kate, Brian, Rachel and I went to the Carlsberg brewery. What an awesome place! They have been making beer there on a huge scale for a long time. Through their tour, well, it was more like a museum! Where they displayed how people made beer even from a very old age. It was very interesting to note the bottle designs on the Carlsberg bottles. Some bottles included the well known swastika, although it was comforting to note that that design was on a bottle before the 1930s (In which it was backwards, and I’m sure meant its original meaning of good luck or well being). But I digress, after this wonderful history lesson and tour of the Brewery, us four talked about what was causing a serious itch.
Our current tactics seem to be lacking. Us as youth have been doing what we have learned as grassroots organizers. Lobbying, performing actions, analyzing policy, developing our structure and utilizing our whole tool box. What we were discussing though, the four of us, were new tools. I have to catch myself though, does the means justify the ends? I surely hope so, as we now are facing a barrier, our right to enter the Bella center will be restricted, and ultimately, revoked before the negotiations end.
Apparently, there are so many heads of state attending, that they first are restricting all of the NGO presence by 30% of their original numbers. By Thursday, they will allow only 1000 NGO delegates. By Friday, 90. How does one even define democracy these days, maybe that definition I learned in middle school is outdated. Maybe this is where why our youth is so important, to redefine, retool and revo… oh never mind
Whatever the outcome of the rest of this week, whatever great atrocity Saudi Arabia may commit by their statements, or action that youth perform, or great speech Obama gives, will justice be served? Climate justice? Will Tuvalu, as part of the G77, receive their world commitment they need to stay afloat? (pun intended). If the leaders will not step up and take this responsibility, we as youth will, and sooner than you think.