- December 2009 - Youth sit-in, refuse to leave while reading 11 million voices for a strong climate deal in Copenhagen
- October 2009 – 15,000 school kids march for climate in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in One of over 5000 climate demonstrations in 181 countries
- March 2009 – 2,500 Protest Capitol Coal Plant after historic Power Shift Conference
- December 2008 – Youth climate journalist breaks story of Tennessee Coal Ash spill 100 times bigger than Exxon Valdez
- April 2007 – 1350 “Step It Up” Demonstrations put 80% by 2050 carbon target on the map
- December 2005 – International Youth launch popular climate blog ItsGettingHotinHere.org at Montreal Climate Talks
- June 2004 – Youth leaders from more than 20 organizations in U.S. and Canada form the Energy Action Coalition
- November 2003 – Students at 65 colleges and universities organize the first National Day of Action for Clean Energy
- April 2001 – Seven-Day Student Sit-in for “Kyoto Now!” Wins Cornell University Climate Commitment
- December 2000 – Over 200 students pressure governments at UN Climate Talks in The Hague
Archive for the 'Poznan 2008' Category
You may have seen this photo, on the left, from the Bonn meeting of the UN Climate Negotiations. It seems simple enough, two men sitting at a table with a framed photograph perched in front of the microphone. Yet, it shows how everything has started to change on the fight to create a global agreement in Copenhagen this December. Why? It demonstrates how everything is in our hands now.
First, lets start with the framed photograph itself. You probably can’t see it too clearly, so lets take a look at the original. Floating above a sea of signs, Ethan Nuss of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network is speaking to the Power Shift 09 Lobby Day Rally in front of the US Capitol building. He is wearing a suit, but he is holding a megaphone. It is wicked cold out, due to a freak snowstorm. Ethan is an incredible speaker and despite the crowd noise is inspiring all the young people in the crowd, who are vigorously waving their signs, and fired up to go lobby Congress.
What does this have to do with Yvo de Boer, the UN’s top climate official and the Executive Secretary (think Secretary of State, not your dentist’s secretary) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change – the body charged with creating a global agreement on climate change, and why did he put this framed photo up? In Poznan, Poland – there was an intergenerational inquiry on the role of youth and the UN climate process. There, I recorded Yvo de Boer state that, ” I think that civil society loses its power, when NGOs put down their banners and put on suits.” He spoke on how young people need to provide the passion, the activism, and not lose sight of their goals in policy thickets. He also called for governments to live up to their promises to include youth representation. See Unicef’s reporting on it, here.
At Power Shift 09, there was an incredible effort to document the conference and tell our own story. Our New Media Warroom, filled with bloggers, photographers, and videographers hailing from the Obama campaign, youth climate organizations, and Fired Up Media – recorded the incredible gathering.
Robert vanWaarden, the leading international youth climate photographer, came with Fired Up Media to shoot the conference. He captured some of the most stunning images you will see of Power Shift, showing the importance and vitality of the youth climate movement. He took this photo of Ethan and the Power Shift rally. Two days after the rally, Yvo de Boer came to Washington DC to speak at the Brooking Institute, a thinktank, where a lineup of speakers talked about political ‘realities’ that will force compromising on Capitol Hill. You can read a bit about it, here. Robert and I printed out the photo, met with Yvo and told him, “We may have put on suits, but we are never putting down our signs.” Continue reading ‘The Story of One Photo Shows How the World Has Changed’
COP15 in Copenhagen this December – the meeting where governments are set to decide whether they will come together to lead on solving climate change peacefully, or whether they force us to take things into our own hands – is not the only UN meeting on climate change this year. There are three important ‘intersessional’ meetings of the UNFCCC bodies and working groups – ‘Bonn 1′, in Germany for the first two weeks of April, ‘Bonn 2′, for the first two weeks in June, and ‘Bangkok’ in September. In addition, there is a meeting of heads of state in New York in September as well. This blog series covers updates on the negotiations as ‘Bonn 1′ and the youth activities there. There are between 20 and 30 youth in attendance, from Europe, Australia, Africa and North America.
The program of events at Bonn 1 is found here.
Friday 27 March, 2009
Welcome to Bonn! Would you like some acronym soup? It’s our signature dish, served fresh at the UNFCCC pre-sessionals today, before next week’s AWG-KP & AWG-LCA inter-sessionals where nations of the world will meet to discuss LULUCF, REDD and REDD+, and MRV-able commitments from Annex 1 nations, among various other things. I hope that the G77, AOSIS, the LDCs and JUSCANZ will be able to reach agreement.
I am in a big room at the ‘Maritim’ hotel in Bonn, Germany, for the ‘Pre-Sessional events’ – before the proper negotiations start on Sunday. There is a long desk on a stage at the front of the room, where the Chair of the session sits, alongside a rapporteur and the UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Yvo de Boer – who looks positively bored. I sort of feel sorry for him. There are rows of desks for the 196 countries of the world, with two seats of each. Then maybe another 300 seats for NGO representatives at the back of the room, which quickly filled up. For people who arrived late (like myself and about 50 others) we can sit on the floor in the corridors. There are also far too many lights on – a large star-shaped arrangement of decorative lightbulbs, crystals and mirrors adorns the ceiling.
So I am very excited that the Fired Up: Youth Report segment on the International Youth Delegation at the Poznan climate talks, is live!
This was our test case to see if we could tackle TV to cover the incredible work that young people are doing all over the world to respond to global warming and to build a just and sustainable world. Guess what? It is airing March 2nd, the day the largest lobby on climate in US history will go down, along with the Capitol Climate Action.
First Poznan, next we are going to be covering Power Shift, which starts TODAY! Expect to see youth reporters filming all over the DC Convention Center, as this story is too hot for just words or to leave to the traditional media. Come say hello and tell us your Power Shift story!
However, check out our segment on the incredible alliance between threatened island nations and the international youth delegations that emerged at the Poznan climate talks. Power Shift is happening in the US of A, but it is becoming the global story with Power Shifts happening in Australia, the UK, and who knows where next! Take a look!
The Maldives/Youth Segment starts at 12:39.
For a little more information about where this will be shown and who helped put this together, below the fold is some information about LinkTV’s EarthFocus.
Continue reading ‘Fired Up: Youth Report – First Poznan, Now Power Shift 09!’
So here it goes, the unveiling of the Global Youth Climate Movement’s work in Poznan, Poland, for COP 14 at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change:
To Download this video click here. It’s the video labeled COP14 (Say What You Want).
And the other video:
To download this video click here. (teardrop) It is labeled COP 14
Post by Daniel Vockins from the UK Delegation
Walking through the halls at the UN Climate Negotiations in Poznan earlier this month, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were at the heart of the struggle to defeat dangerous climate change. Top-level ministers from every government in the world met to forge a global agreement, the contents of which will decide how the latter half of this century plays out. But in truth, the real decisions are not made at the UN.
Woven through the endless meetings, lobbying sessions, cocktail parties and plenaries was a palpable sense that we will pass the critical 2 degrees tipping point which puts us into ‘dangerous’ levels of warming. Negotiators repeated ad nauseam the party line about how CO2 concentrations of 450 parts per million will stave off the worst impacts of climate change, whilst being briefed behind closed doors about exactly how out of date this target is. Corner negotiators with questions like these and they will often admit as much. It’s exasperating to watch, because we know that the time left to act is running out. Continue reading ‘The Power Isn’t At the UN’
Youth action frames the conversation at the UNFCCC in Poznan, Poland
Young people from around the world made their voice heard today at the UN Framework Convention on Climate change in Poznan, Poland. After an inspiring speech from Al Gore, over 200 young people from India to the U.S. to the Congo held a spontaneous action inside, with banners that read “SURVIVAL IS NON-NEGOTIABLE.”
The demonstration was the next step in our “project survival” – inspired by a speech earlier this week by a representative from the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), stating that current emissions targets set by powerful countries condemn their nations to extinction. In the last two days youth have mobilized to get over 80 country delegations to sign a pledge to “safeguard the survival of all peoples and nations.” Youth organized actions, tracked down delegates in the halls, lined the entrance to the plenaries, and knocked on meeting room doors to push their countries to sign the Survival Pledge. This morning our text has been adopted in the official UN Ministerial declaration document emerging from COP14, the COP President’s text on long-term vision. Heads of state referenced our call in major speeches. “It’s been an amazing success,” said Amanda McKenzie, of the Australian Youth Climate Network. “Hearing Australia’s Climate Minister Penny Wong commit to ‘survival’ yesterday had me cheering in the halls. Now, it’s time to make sure she delivers.”
Actions like the one that happened 15 minutes ago aim to create the pressure to do just that. At the end of our action (after engaging with some angry UN people) several delegates and dignitaries came to thank the Youth for their action. A woman said “I am in a very high position in my government in Norway. Youth doing actions like this makes my work easier. Thank you.”
We’ve had an exciting victory, but we know we must continue to organize to make the implications of that statement meaningful – we know that any targets less than 350ppm will not insure the survival of all peoples and nations, and we know that any solution that is not equitable and just, is no solution at all.
Click below for many more photos and reflections.
Continue reading ‘SURVIVAL IS NON-NEGOTIABLE’
The New York Times ran a landmark article today, “Money and Lobbyists Hurt European Efforts to Curb Gases,” about the failure of cap and trade in Europe. It’s required reading for anyone concerned about climate change policy in the United States and abroad. It opens with this:
The European Union started with a high-minded ecological goal: encouraging companies to cut their greenhouse gases by making them pay for each ton of carbon dioxide they emitted into the atmosphere.
But that plan unleashed a lobbying free-for-all that led politicians to dole out favors to various industries, undermining the environmental goals. Four years later, it is becoming clear that system has so far produced little noticeable benefit to the climate — but generated a multibillion-dollar windfall for some of the Continent’s biggest polluters.
As President-elect Barack Obama considers how to curb the gases that contribute to global warming, Europe’s struggle with the problem illustrates the momentous task ahead for the United States.
The piece comes after the GAO just released a highly critical study of the use of offsets in Europe’s Emissions Trading Scheme and amidst the chaotic climate negotiations at Poznan, where several European nations are balking at strict emissions caps. It also comes only a few weeks after President-elect Barack Obama pledged his support for cap and trade at a major climate conference in California.
[compiled by international youth at COP14 for the daily youth publication]
I have to say, I’m pretty disgusted with many of the developed country statements. They are more than willing to talk about progress and how much they care – and then block text necessary for the survival of entire countries. Negotiators are essentially trying to decide if the most vulnerable countries are worth saving at this point. For some countries, such as Australia, Canada, Japan, and the US, Christmas bonuses for multi-millionaires and bailing large corporations out of debt seem to be more important.
As one minister from a small island put it this morning, we are talking about mass murder here. Mass murder of nations, peoples, and cultures. Again, as another minister put it, we are asking small island states to sign onto a suicide pact with the way negotiations are currently proceeding. I don’t know about you, but I’m going to put everything I have into reshaping the political landscape over the next year so that we leave no one behind in this process. Survival is non-negotiable.
Cross-posted from: What’s with the Climate?
The Environmental Defense Fund in collaboration with IETA and the Pew Charitable Trusts hosted an event today at the 14th Conference of giving an “update on Federal Affairs.” Those present included representatives from several high-level committees within the US Congress including Sarah Levinson from the office of Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, Alexandra Teitz from the office of Congressman Henry Waxman, Peter Rafle-Senagte from Senate Environment & Public Works Committee, Jo-Ellen Darcy, representing the Senate Finance Committee, Jonathan Black representing the Senate Natural Resources & Energy Committee and Chris Adamo representing Michigan Senator Stabenow. Though all signs point to hope of the US mobilizing in a positive direction (how could they not?), there is a sense that there will be a lot on the new administration’s plate as far as financing of projects is concerned. The question then is, will the bold ambitions of the Obama Administration live up to their promises as the US debt and financing for massive projects like Healthcare also hang in the balance? Or will the climate agenda finally, get the priority? Continue reading ‘Signs of Hope from the US?’