I think it’s fair to say that the youth speech (known as an ‘intervention’ in UN-jargon) just rocked the LCA (Long-term Cooperative Action) plenary at the UN climate talks in Bonn, Germany.
The text of the speech is below. A video of the speech and the chair’s response will be uploaded here as soon as possible.
However, let’s be really clear about what this is and what it is not.
It is clear that by 2050 we need to totally decarbonise our society and our economy – and that will take a lot more than speeches in the stifling environment of the UN. To actually achieve the reduction, we need vibrant, energetic, distributed, local, grassroots action.
The UN process is currently not on track to achieve the ambitious agreement that we are calling for below. I won’t speculate on the likelihood of success – I imagine that there will be lots of comments on this topic, as it’s a huge debate within social movements currently. However, we need to be prepared, if they refuse to lead, to shut down the fossil fuel system ourselves.
This will ultimately be a people-driven transition to sustainability. But in the long run we will have to bring governments along with us too – resistant governments will hamper our ability to bring about solutions. This will be a people-led sustainability revolution, but needs to also be government-supported.
We are working hard here at COP to demonstrate the power of the youth movement, encouraging them to be supportive.
In the US in particular, the youth movement must push hard on their representatives in every congressional district. Yes, that Waxman bill came out yesterday, but as we say below, it’s not enough. Keep pushing for more – the next few months are crucial. If the US government locks in legislation with inadequate targets, it will be very difficult to shift them later.
2009 is the time for action. With this in mind, I would formally like to offer the following idea – that EVERY SINGLE YOUTH CLIMATE ACTIVIST either defers their university studies for six months or goes part-time, to dedicate their precious hours to activism and organising instead.
With our best efforts, I believe that we will win this one. Continue reading ‘Youth INTERVENE at Bonn UN Climate Talks’