Blog for live Copenhagen reporting
What REALLY happened in Copenhagen? Read the blog comments from the UU-UNO Climate Initiative representatives who were there.
CitationDash, J. (2010). Blog for live Copenhagen reporting. Retrieved from http://climate.uu-uno.org/view/blog/51cbeb957896bb431f689241
Copenhagen notes Dec.10, 2009 from Lynn Dash, UU-UNO “special correspondent” COP15 Conference of the Parties Copenhagen Youth have an incredible stake in the negotiations going on right now. Today I attended two “side events” organized by youth defined as those under 25. Both had a sea of bright orange T-shirts, printed in front with “ How old will YOU be in 2050?” and on the back with “Don’t bracket our future” Today I learned there are about 2000 youth here. Like the CAN—Climate Action Network—they are asking for an agreement that is FAIR—AMBITIOUS—BINDING. Yes, this sounds pretty elementary but it is very complicated, deciding on “Differentiated responsibility,” whether carbon offsets should be counted, and a myriad of other technical details. The youth point out that in the end, it is their lives that are being affected more than the present negotiators. In the workshop “Youth and Student Movements Leading the Way” we heard about use of social networking technology to bring youth together from all over the world. They are reaching out to younger students, inspiring local actions, creating innovative energy-saving devices. They are promoting intergenerational and inter-institutional cooperation. They are presenting their concerns to the powers that be in their towns, countries and at the UN. Their careful study results in articulate presentations whether to peers, at a plenary session here with thousands of observers, or at a special briefing. Two young women, one from San Francisco and one from India, along with environmental writer Bill McKibben, co-founded the 350.org movement 350 parts per million of Greenhouse Gasses being the number scientists say we need to get down to form our present 389 ppm to maintain our environment as we know it). Another workshop focused on “Intergenerational Equity” and noted the growing number of young people around the world who are working on climate change. I am bringing back a little book entitled “Climate Legacy Initiative: A New Legal Perspective on an Unprecedented Crisis” by one of the speakers, Tracy Bach from Vermont Law School, one of our speakers. The responsibility the older generations have to pass on a world as intact as the one they received may be codified into law in some ways, but we know it is already a moral and ethical obligation. I thought—this reflects the wisdom of the Iroquois Nation Seventh Generation—whatever we do—let us think how it will affect our progeny unto the seventh generation. Some interesting web sites: www.sustainus.org www.350.org (THIS weekend some activities are being planned such as candlelight vigils to encourage an equitable Copenhagen agreement—the heads of state are coming next week) www.studentsummit2010 World student summit for sustainability Tomorrow—looking into Climate Action Network Cheers to you all Stateside, Lynn
Notes from COP15 Copenhagen Climate Change Conference Dec. 8, 2009 Copenhagen If you’ve been to General Assembly you know how intense the experience can be. The Copenhagen conference has the flavor of a giant GA with several times the number of participants. As of this writing, about 15,000 people from 200 countries are here. It is wonderful to see the faces of so many different people from around the world. The logo is a sphere with thickly interconnecting lines, a web held together in a big blue ball What a graphic reminder that we are all in this together, in our interconnected web on our one precious planet. So among the multiple offerings on many topics at any given hour, I am reminded that it is all about environmental and social justice for all of us on Earth. COP is “Conference of Parties” and this is the 15th, and largest, such conference since international negotiations began in 1992 with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) There is an undercurrent of tension between the developed and the developing countries. The major issue seems to be that the developed countries have already put a disproportionate amount of Greenhouse gas Emissions into the atmosphere, while the developing countries have yet to develop infrastructure that would help lift them out of poverty. (The U.S., with 5% of the world’s population, emits 20% of GHG). The “Side Event” panel I attended on the first full day of the conference, “What the Copenhagen Conference must deliver for climate justice,” included speakers from Africa and the Philippines. It was pointed out that developing countries are already dealing with adverse effects of climate change. “Climate injustice means ignoring that some people somewhere are exposed to danger and yoked to suffering due to climate change.” There is some fear that the North-South divide that permeates the negotiations may threaten to retard the gains so far achieved ahead of COP15. Let’s keep posted…and hopeful for a just solution. And speaking of hope—there is a growing international youth climate movement. Over 1000 youth from 100 countries are here at COP 15 and I’ve been talking with some of them. A young Australian stated simply: “It’s our future.” The Australian Youth Climate coalition sent 20 youth through an application process. They raised their own funds to be able to come here, and to be able to support youth from developing nations. They are peer-organized and meet every morning for strategy sessions. Today they drew a large crowd around them as they sang “Give Peace a Chance” with some added lyrics about climate justice. Youth from all across the U.S. have come together as SustainUS. They are under 25 years old and were chosen through a competitive application process. There are 1600 members of SustainUS in the US—and their chair is a UU, Kyle Gracey! They trained together in August on how to make presentations, take action, talk with the media and other ways to make a difference. They are expected to go back into their communities and raise awareness of climate change and encourage actions for sustainability. We will be hearing more from these inspiring young people. If you’re interested in reading the Daily Programme, it’s available at http://unfccc.int/items We are grateful to be here at this exciting time. Lynn Dash
Jan, Thanks for these updates! Onward!