International Youth Climate Movement at the U.N.

15 12 2008

This video was made by Yong Ping Loo from Singapore from the last day of youth action at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Conference of Parties (COP14).

We are everywhere.

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SURVIVAL IS NON-NEGOTIABLE

12 12 2008

Youth frame 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 pushing for stronger targets 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.
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U.S. Youth Lead where U.S. State Dept Won’t in UNFCCC Negotiations

8 12 2008

Young people in Poznan, Poland are stepping into the empty shoes of our stalling government.

Young people from the United States have been engaging full force in the 14th Conference of Parties (COP) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Unfortunately, we can’t say the same of our government. Instead of waiting around for our government to change its tune on the international stage, we’ve decided to set up dozens upon dozens of meetings with countries across the globe, especially those countries whom our country has disrespected in the past. Even if our own government isn’t listening to some of the most affected stakeholders in this negotiation, we will. We’re hoping the next wave of U.S. engagement will follow our lead.

See our letter, which as already been getting very enthusiastic response from countries around the world.

U.S. youth letter to UNFCCC delegates

We’re here from Environmental Justice and Climate Change Initiative, SustainUS, Rainforest Action Network, Energy Action Coalition, Indigenous Environmental Network, 350.org

Or just read the text of the U.S. letter to other delegations here.
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International Youth call for a Climate Rescue Plan at the UN

5 12 2008

The economic crisis is an opportunity to transform our economy
Cross Posted from Grist

It’s day four of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations in Poznan Poland, but it feels like I’ve been here for months. I’m up before the sun rises and in bed after midnight – and the action is nonstop. I with 500 youth delegates here from over 54 countries across the globe, from India to Peru, to Australia. Young people have been meeting with governments, participating in negotiations, harassing corporations, training each other in everything from climate justice to organizing skills, and speaking clearly and loudly: young people are collaborating across borders and have a shared vision. We want binding, equitable, science-based targets, and we’re going to fight for them.

One of the ways that we’ve been telling our story is through actions – we’ve been coordinating two per day! This afternoon, we hosted a “Who Wants To Be a Trillionaire?” game show. One contestant was the “big banks,” who have recently won 4.1 trillion dollars in government bailouts from the E.U. and the U.S. The other was a “climate rescue plan” which got over 40 times less – a measly 13.1 billion (if that doesn’t sound like a big disparity, check out the graph on this report here: http://www.ips-dc.org/getfile.php?id=314). The United States Congress has committed zero dollars (http://www.ips-dc.org/articles/913). Despite getting all the questions wrong, the “big banks” got all the money anyway. A rambunctious game show audience held a banner that said: “EU Bailout: $2.8 Trillion. US Bailout: $1.3 Trillion. Climate Rescue: Priceless”

Our point was simple: the same people who have spent decades telling us they can’t afford to save our planet, can clearly move trillions of dollars within weeks (when their own pocketbooks are directly affected). The issue is not lack of resources, its lack of political will. Youth are demanding our governments invest in a strong green economy, our planet, and our future.

Lucky for us, this economic crisis presents us with a wonderful opportunity. The opening day here in Poland, the UNFCCC said that the economic crisis is no excuse for inaction. We are saying that in fact, it’s the best reason in the world to invest in clean energy now, creating green jobs and sparking opportunity worldwide.
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New activist resource guide! Tell stories through your work.

3 12 2008

<a href=”https://smartmeme.rdsecure.org/index.php”>smartMeme</a&gt; is an organization dedicated toward helping change-agents tell better stories with their activism and organizing. Story telling is the oldest form of human communication, and the most effective action, too. In their new resource guide, smartMeme helps activists shift ideas, culture, and the world around us. I can’t recommend it enough.

You can download it here.