Tag Archives: UNFCC

The Climate Movement’s Moment ©

By Suzanne Maxx

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Outside COP21 with the flags of the United Nations.

LE BOURGET, FRANCE.   Fortunately here at COP21 there is no longer the question of if climate change is happening, check out this slide show.  It now is a question of how quickly we all can act to meet the challenge, and when we will have strong global policy. COP21 was supposed to end yesterday, but true to the history and form of the complexity of these agreements, it is still in process.

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Photo of Suzanne Maxx by Albert Boulanger for World Team Now at Climate Generations Area

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) holds annual meetings of the delegates Conference of the Parties (COP) and each year it grows older, left without a process to manage the world’s actions, climate change’s impact on our world increases.  COP has come of age at 21 here in Paris, now it is truly like a 21 year old— legal but not yet quite responsible— perhaps an appropriate metaphor for the upcoming results of the much anticipated Paris Convention/Accord.

The bottom up approach to each country choosing what they are capable of contributing seems to be working with the “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions” (INDCs) all countries submissions are public here. COP21 had a jump start, and with the delivery of so many INDCs, COP21 was set on a fast track to global transformation, which lit the fire of possibility to “dream the impossible dream.”

On the opening day of the COP21 when the family photo of world leaders was taken, and Mission Innovation was announced, all eyes saw the possibility of transformational global policy. Clean Energy Innovation R & D will be doubled by 20 major economies with the help of the private sector.  Billionaire Bill Gates at the helm of an impressive Breakthrough Energy Coalition that reads like a “who’s who” of game changers helps Mission Innovation.

With so many world leaders in Paris for the beginning of COP21 the stage of this conference was set to change the game. In 2015, there were multiple preparatory conferences all producing a draft of the policy. The regular meetings increased the chance that all could agree here in Paris, and we would have global environmental policy.  Historically, the leaders would arrive at the end of the COPs after a few weeks where their representatives would try to negotiate a deal.  This year’s COP was different, not just because all world leaders agreed to come at the beginning of the COP, having worked out what they are able to contribute on their own, but were standing for the success of finally attaining climate policy. To have these world leaders in the same place after the vulnerable attacks here in Paris demonstrates a commitment to the statement: “There is no darkness that can overcome the light.”

Photo Credit: Photo by Yann Arthus-Bertrand / Spectra

A Message of Freedom and 100% Renewable Energy from Paris. Eiffel Tower Peace Symbol © Yann Arthus-Bertrand  / Spectral Q

The people, NGOs, and corporations also set up a powerful approaches to action, including a massive march planned for the Global Climate Movement. However, many Paris events were canceled, including the climate marches after the terrorist attacks, and subsequent state of emergency.  Fortunately, the Global Climate Movement adapted with action around the world. We used our bodies as a font in the Eiffel Tower aerial art piece,  that 300  of us or so took part in, led by artist John Quigley and Dancing without Boarders,  This event miraculously prevailed and has become the iconic image of COP21, gracing the cover of many  publications. Other powerful events in Paris for this COP21 time frame were pulled off successfully augmenting the action over at Le Bourget’s COP21 conferences like “Earth to Paris,” and the “Energy for Tomorrow Conference’’ hosted by the International New York Times.  The Green Zone public “Climate Generation Area” allowed all people to be involved in the action, and there were some solid panels like “Energy Matters,” sponsored by the International Energy Agency.

Global Emissions Target of 1.5 degrees Celsius is what’s needed by at least 2020— it was needed yesterday — so ideally with a pre-2020 five year review and calibration. The target date may end up being 2050; this is one of the points of conflict in the negotiation.  Will this be a realistic target that sets us on a trajectory that honors what we know to be true about climate change, and how it affects not only human health, but also the balance of all species on earth? The other sensitive point is: when will the energy transition occur?  We would like to see 100% renewable energy by at least 2050. A firm date of when to phase out of fossil fuel is at the root of this controversial debate.  The majority of countries now agree that 100% cut of fossil fuel will happen, but by when— is the question.

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Courtesy of Climate Generations Area COP21

The forests and oceans breathe for our planet— they are more than our lungs.  Together they are teeming with the bio-diversity— the flora, fauna, and all necessary for our human species. survival.  We are waiting for the text of the final document to have language about the commitment to zero de-forestation globally.  Our oceans need protection from acidification, and warming temperatures—this is imperative to take into account, and have specific measurable results in mind, along with global emission targets.  We need to have goals for our oceans, islands, and responsibly embrace policy that is accountable for not only our air, but also the land, waters, and people. Global policy that allows all people to belong to the earth is needed, especially when whole nations, island states like Tuvalu are being annihilated by our collective use of resources. Justice is needed to balance the poor Small Islands and Least Developed Countries who are most affected by the results of climate change, with richer nations sourcing the problem.

Fossil Fuel subsidies are going to be phased out globally— much to both the dismay and celebration of many people and industries.  Why subsidize the most profitable global industry anyway?  Old paradigms can be hard for some to let go, yet our future depends on embracing this renewable energy transition, and also how fast we can move on a large scale. More than a trillion dollars a year— just think of how quickly we could change the energy game with those same subsidies going to renewable energy or into the Green Climate Fund. The 100 billion annual contribution to the Green Climate Fund would become a reality.

Naturally, it will be better to have an ambitious framework with a big enough vision for growth and change.  There needs to be checks and balances in place — most likely discussed in more detail next year at Morocco COP22.  An independent agency will need to be formed organically to both check and enforce agreed upon targets, much like the International Atomic Energy Agency reports to the Security Council.

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Wind energy captured by these faux trees –outside COP21 Paris–sustainable device for biodiversity

The long term key will be the enforceable, critical language added, and systems put in place to realize the outcome of the global goals. It will take time to work out the logistics of how we live into these objectives collectively.  That is why this is a convention with the goals to have a framework to build out over time, so it reflects the truth of what we are collectively committed to achieving. Transparent, enforceable global policy with mechanisms, systems, and a structure that we all— all nations and all people— can live into after COP21.  This will take more time than allotted at COP21— that is why this is a process.  This process can direct global markets, as well as steer the re-prioritization of our collective values— this is where change can take root. Here is a copy of the yesterday’s draft doc, and some of the key sticking points . It may take years to realize the “how,” but at this point, what is important is that we agree to common global goals and objectives that will set us in a direction to live into our future.

“Key” Pres. Obama’s Veto of KeyStone XL Pipeline- ECO Legacy

Today, in defense for our environment and for all of us people on the planet, President Obama has exercised his USA Presidential power to veto the Keystone XL Pipeline, an important step in the movement towards an  “ECO” Presidential Legacy, powered by us people.

It’s disturbing that, at a time when all hands need to be on deck for humanity to live in balance with our resources on this planet, the USA Congress has forced President Obama to exercise his presidential power now,  instead of doing their job to create public policy, and laws that help govern our society and builds a vital nation better structuring  and organizing our quality of life. This 3rd veto is no surprise, as President Obama declared in his State of the Union Address, to veto this bill and others, that were not truly in the best interest for us all.

Tar sands in Alberta Canada

 

At this point, most of us understand why the Keystone Pipeline is not the “Key”. The tar sands (or oil sands) toxicity benefits no one, and at this point sadly we all know the words to this song, “Profit over People and Planet,” which is the cornerstone, or key stone, behind many who prioritize this now in our world.  Tar sands confront public health, at a time when we already have too many challenges with clean air to breath globally.  Keystone XL usurps the citizens’ human rights as property owners of Nebraska, South Dakota and other states that the pipeline goes through.  It questions their freedom, forcing them to sacrifice their own home, and farm land— for what? To transport oil from Canada through the USA for Mexico, or China –when all these regions, including the USA, can get our own clean renewable energy from natural sources?  Sounds reasonable?  It risks the quality of our water, earth, air, and presents the risks of contamination.

Is this an evolution of the US Constitution? Why is it even being considered at this moment and how could this be the “key”?  Who would this benefit?  Well, others have spent a great deal of time breaking down the motivation, and who benefits.  It is all very simple—some call it “cash whipping” it serves individual Congress members, many who were each paid over $200,000 to vote “yes,” and this “wolf in the sheep’s clothing” good sounding “Citizen’s United Bill” that has polluted one of the best pieces of public policy ever written; the USA Constitution.  Thanks to Citizen’s United which allows corporations to have equal rights with citizens and finance, monstrosities, like Keystone XL, to become a possibility, instead of a crime.  Tar sands projects at this time on our planet need to be illegal because they threaten the public health, of our species and all on our planet. But it also argues important legal issues about freedom at such a time— discerning people’s state’s, national, and planet interests. This moment in time affords the opportunity to redefine our priorities, and with the class action cases against Keystone XL Pipeline being argued at a state level in court, this indeed may be an opportunity to define how the United States unite and if they are a UNITED States of America.

At this time on the planet, will we get beyond “EGO”— can’t we move towards “ECO”—  ecology and economy.  At a time when we all need not only more sources of alternative renewable energy deployed, but resiliency, and sustainability with flow of energy.  The grid is taxed with more demand often than it can supply.  We need to be passing legislature that indeed incentivizes renewable energy sources, distributed energy architecture, and teaming-up on microgrids.  We need policy to incentivize net zero buildings and creative renewable energy systems, and energy storage, at a large scale.  We need more electric vehicles on the road charging to renewable energy sources, with complementary energy storage systems.  We need to crack that large scale energy storage nut, and incentivize not a pipeline transporting energy from one country to another through our country, but onsite energy systems that are reliable, resilient, and onsite electricity generation locations, homegrown energy from our natural resources, stored for backup when needed.

Why are we not trying to put bills on the table to work through our own energy challenges?  Bipartisan bills that have a chance of getting passed with the intent being to benefit the public— after all, are not politicians supposed to be public servants? It is a sad use of power that is spent stalling for time, until the power can move in another direction.  It all is a strategic, historical power play that at the end will only demonstrate how all systems, including the political system, could better serve us people and our planet.  The Keystone XL Pipeline will prove to be the pipe dream of this time, dreamt from the fallible EGO of Trans Canada bought through and approved by Congress, but fortunately it gives all people the opportunity to see the light, and the possibility of ECO.

“The pen is mightier than the sword”
—Edward Bulwer-Lytton  1839

Watch out world— 2015 plans to be a year of action, as mentioned prior, with the climax being President Obama as one of the leaders towards powerful global policy that stands for our people and planet over profit in Paris at UNFCC’s COP21.  Think it’s impossible?  Well we’ve seen a draft of what is on the table for global “ECO” policy, and there are better possibilities, even surprising ones, and if we all continue to team-up for the good of our planet we will create a global movement, and this isn’t a pipe dream or pipe line for any agenda accept our future.

Political System of the United States with its checks and balances

Thankful that the Unites States Constitution triune structure of checks and balances exists, but  it is confronting that it’s limits are being tested, and begs to question why it isn’t functioning more as a trinity— especially at this moment in humanity’s story on our planet earth.

President Obama will likely wait until the ruling from Nebraska’s state supreme court to finalize the rejection of the pipeline outright, which is the final step to closure.  A Nebraska county judge issued a temporary injunction to stop TransCanada from using eminent domain to force landowners to sell their property rights for the pipeline. As a result, TransCanada agreed not to use eminent domain anywhere in Nebraska until the state’s Supreme Court finally settles the legal struggle over Keystone’s route across the state, which if we have anything to do with all of this, it will be a moot point anyway.

For President Obama’s ECO legacy it began with the ARRA with renewable energy options, then granting EPA the power to defend public health as a national security issue and enforce environmental clean air policy. Fast forward to September 2014, nearly half a million of us people rallied for action on climate change in NYC; we were there at the UN General Assembly when President Obama shared with a small group of leaders at an Open Government Forum, that he had just discussed a historic climate deal with China to cut greenhouse gas emissions and in November it came to pass; in December, more than one million comments were submitted in support of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan; in January, historical protections for the Arctic Refuge were announced; and now President Obama has vetoed Congress’s bill to force the approval of the Keystone pipeline, now it is time to reject Trans Canada’s plans for Keystone XL Pipeline outright will you please add your name to tell President Obama to just outright reject the Keystone XL Pipeline? Please sign here.

It is time to make sure; “We the People”–have an ECO legacy, a time to re-organize, and prioritize by bringing the temptation of this folly to public presenting the clarity of choices driven by EGO vs. ECO. Best left in the words of Sir Walter Scott’s poem, “Breathes there the Man” 

 

The #People’sClimate March -WheelProgress

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NEW YORK, NY USA–Join our World Team Now (WTN) September 21st; we will be rolling out on our skates, taking it to the streets in the #People’sClimate March in New York! Our goal is to show our leaders that the people are demanding climate action. Be part of the change and sign up here.

http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlJIymycYTA

There will be many events happening around the world,  striving to enroll everyone. This action coincides with Ban Ki-moon’s UN Climate Summit 2014, opening the next day headquartered at the United Nations.  The action is part of the launch of  Climate Week in New York, which is meant to shine the light of awareness on the all-important United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP21 from November 30 to December 11th 2015 in Paris.

UN Climate Summit in September 2014, New York.

UN Climate Summit in September 2014, New York.

In addition to raising public awareness on  climate change,  it is our hope that we will all (especially our leaders), finally agree on needed global policy for humanity at large and our environment of our one home; earth.

We all know the “chicken and egg” cliché, which still seems to be stopping Climate Action. Ideally global leaders are indeed public servants, and do what is best and just for us people.  We, the people, have been asking for global environmental policy, and prior excuses from leaders proclaim it is not the will of the people.  After all, in the USA alone 43%  of our country does not believe that human behavior is a factor in the change of our climate, called anthropogenic climate change, according to the March 2014 Gallup Poll.  So if a leader needs to represent the “majority of the people,” they need to act with a known constituency of support; thus the #ClimateMarch, to raise public awareness and to demonstrate that we, the people, are indeed asking for climate action.

At World Team Now, we are usually about renewable energy demonstration projects— in our work, in our homes, and changing ourselves— looking at how we individually and collectively use our energy. Energy that is not just demonstrated by solar, wind, heat pump geothermal, tidal energy or use of LED lights— not just the technologies deployed in our buildings— but an awareness.  We want to build our constituency that understands that the decisions we make affect the air we breathe, the water we drink, the earth where we grow our food, our oceans, and the intricate biodiversity of all species.

WheelProgress

WheelProgress

We are the people standing and working for global climate justice in policy, locally and globally, in action changing; our buildings to net zero, our vehicles to electric and rolling forward on wheels and making real progress, we call #WheelProgress.  We roll forward a future based on teamwork and community and will demonstrate that in the Climate March by the way we actually move forward, on INLINE  or ROLLER SKATES, or if you use a wheelchair! We are already making #WheelProgress with renewable solutions not just for movement or transportation, but in demonstration projects— now let’s get ratified accountable global policy. Let’s all roll it along much faster for real progress.

WTN is part of the global TckTckTck campaign, where along with 350.org and another 500+ non-profit organizations are strategizing our environmental movement to work together.  One of the leaders in this capacity has been Bill McKibben, with his growing 350.org alliance, now working for the People’s Climate March.  They are the genesis around this Climate March, and WTN once again couldn’t help but join but to support teamwork to show that the people in the USA do want to see political action with policy to protect our challenged climate, that is actually changing.  We do play a role in the change, and it’s time to build our movement.

"O" World Team Now skaters for 350,  Brooklyn, NY USAWorld Team Now calls on our global roller skate family to engage our community around the world that will be in NYC and will join to roller skate for renewable energy, at the People’s Climate March. We will demonstrate by our own renewable energy, leg power– we can build on our movement to go faster! We will use our own human energy to naturally propel our movement and play to transform our world.   We will show our love for roller skating as a way to demonstrate to the world we have the power to choose how to use our resources, and keep them in balance with all species on this planet.  With wheels on our feet, we demonstrate it’s time to roll fast forward to the future we want to see. We invite all to be part of World Team Now, in the People’s Climate March, please join us on your feet, wheelchair, or roller skates.

Register here: http://peoplesclimate.org/march/?r=WorldTeamNow

If you skate, or are on wheels, please join us for the Wheel Progress & Skaters Hub on Facebook as well— it looks like we will have both groups rolling this out and hopefully together.

If you want to gain more motivation for this needed movement, see Disruption.

If you need transportation or want to be a bus or train captain, click here.

If you need housing for your stay in NYC, click here.

Let’s choose to join the action for our planet.  Take action now, and show that we, the people, do care about our future, please do join us!

Act Locally, Act Globally – Think of Us All As Part of One

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Join us next week and use this  20% Off Discount Code “SPT20WTN”

Change seems to be accelerating. Change, not just with our climate, but also with the “systems” humanity has created, spurred by Globalization.  Whether that be the legal system, political system, financial system, health care system, or educational system— the systems in place to provide the world’s basic needs.  Have we learned to scale our systems to meet Globalization’s challenges? Humanity can learn  from how nature scales to support the whole—  Biomimicry of man-made systems seems key to the stewardship of our earth and for an organically sustainable future.   

Global transformation is in the works, and is needed within all systems including those within our one global governing body – the United Nations. Friday ended the two week climate talks in Bonn, Germany. The disappointment was all too familiar as it seemed like yesterday, but it was a year ago when World Team Now produced the event as part of the UNFCC’s Rio+20, and also an event at The People’s Summit.  We went down to Rio once again with great expectations for more progress than what was able to be achieved inside the United Nations’ RIO+20 conference’s time. So now, it is distressing that there was a huge snag caused by foot dragging by Russia in a key entity, the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI). At least there was some progress in the overarching 2015 international climate action agreement. Why wait until disaster? We clearly need more projects that influence public perception. “To see is to believe” for most, so we need more examples to inspire the masses to embrace change.

At World Team Now, we are growing, and eager to see the change that happens once our non-profit World Team Now can be supported by our World Team multi-media platform, and broadcast.  Our World Team project too needs to be demonstrated to be fully understood, and to that end our development of our pilot project continues.  While we are working to have this World Team model up in full scale, we have been occupied with events.  In California, for example what we did in Malibu with Earth Day (photo album here), with our “Ride & Drive”, and “The Circle-Up  Around Renewable Energy”.  We owe a shout-out to all of those who showed up to participate or volunteer, and for the support of Nissan of Thousand Oaks, and Edwards/Wildman.  We hope to be sharing some of the edited footage soon at WTN’s upcoming event September 26 and 27.   Another example is what World Team Now is doing in NY to support ACORE’s Renewable Energy Financing Forum (REFF)-Wall Street. Join us and get 20% off registration by using this code “SPT20WTN”. REFF is the perfect activity, included with more than 20 Energy Industry Events for New York City’s Energy Week, June 24th-28th.

Please save the dates for World Team Now’s upcoming annual event in Malibu September 27th & 28th, 2013. Watch World Team Now’s Event’s page for more details about the timing.

Speaking of timing, two great renewable energy demonstration projects born in Switzerland also have “New York” as a destination.  PlanetSolar, is the world’s largest solar boat, and it includes an interesting research component with the project it just arrived in New York.  The soaring approach to change done state by state has value. The Solar Impulse is a renewable energy demonstration project with great potential. You can take flight and  follow in real time on their final segment of the “Across America” trip, and join the history in the making as they land in New York early July.

Planet Solar is in New York

PlanetSolar reaches New York, the second american stopover of its 2013 campaign

The two states where World Team Now is based are proudly taking leadership positions in the environmental transformation needed to address climate change— let’s hear it for California and New York, especially Mayor Bloomberg’s action plan to address the affects of climate change .  The water situation and the issue of drought is rapidly becoming more serious, due to climate change.  Often, to execute solutions at a scale needed to address the affects of climate change, bonds are created.  California is taking the lead with creating a Water Bond.  World Team Now was present when Senator Fran Pavley, Chair of the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee, hosted the Hearing; “Encouraging Regional Water Solutions: Implications for a Statewide Water Bond” at Pepperdine University.  Californians are set to vote on the $11.1 billion water bond in November, 2014.

More action needs to be able to take place on a state level and even city level, which gives more weight to the “Think globally, act locally” mantra—  but not to preclude think global act global actions which are needed as well— the local can catalyze the global.    It is a huge victory to finally permanently close the troubled San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant in California, not just for the immediate risk of radiation, but also in respect of the long term issue of what to do with the radioactive rods which are byproducts of nuclear reactors. With no safe disposal protocol for these rods, even closed plants will continue to pose risks to the public and our planet forever The pressure is on for Southern California Edison to strive towards truly renewable energy— the kind with no radioactive byproducts to threaten public safety. It is time for us citizens to spearhead energy independence, be active in supplying a diversity of local renewable energy resources (supporting grid stability as a benefit), and to learn how to responsibly use energy.

But it is time for the whole of us in society to consider “Act locally, Act globally- Think of us all as part of ONE”.

 

COP17 & Our World’s “Crazy Climate”

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/32366389]

As 99% of the world cries out with various forms of the Occupy Movement, one thing seems to be clear to almost all— the systems we have created for humanity to live within need to be reconsidered, and ultimately transformed.  These are crazy times and to look at our systems globally is to wonder, with all of the magnificent brilliance of humanity, how did we end up here?  Why do our political, medical, legal, educational, financial systems seem ineffective in truly serving humanity at large?  How can we continue to make decisions about one country or state, when this is one world and the boundaries are shrinking with the realization like parts of the body— what is done to one part (or country) affects the whole body or (world).  Why can’t we take this to heart and take action about climate change and agree to significant environmental policy for our world and our future? If not at COP17, maybe Rio+20 will be the time— after all Brazil is shaped like a heart.

The United Nations conferences have been the global games for tackling environmental issues facing humanity and our planet.  COP17 is taking place in Durban, South Africa and how many in the world are even aware?  Yes, the daily agenda is dense and intense— making it easier for most of us to ignore as week two begins. This past week the US media had little coverage on COP17.  Was it primarily because much of the world perceived the United States’ leading monetary capitalism as the giant elephant in the room that prevented the rest of the world from taking steps forward?

Finally, the New York Times did a thorough article on the Kyoto Protocol, which is the closest we have come so far, to significant global environmental policy— although flawed it still may be better than not having anything. Here is a good article on the EU ‘s fight for climate policy.  Unfortunately, the US Congress attempts to pass energy or climate policy has stalled as the issue is gridlocked between Democrats and the Republicans.  Perhaps an African approach would be more successful?  S. Africa’s actions with renewable energy and approach to understand the link to economics deserves attention.

COP17 update:

Suzanne Maxx for World Team

On Friday there was talk that China would indeed consider signing a deal at COP17— if so the United States might no longer have an excuse.  Memories of COP15 and bearing witness to the frustrating way the United States and China were communicating with the rest of the world still haunt many of us.

The Weekend

C17  took an active role in organizing the march of about 5,000 people  through the streets of Durban this past weekend.  Tck,tck,tck, a campaign World Team Now is involved with, helped rally the civil action that  is an important part of all the U.N. conferences.   This  UNFCC conference  was no different— as marches bring more than talk, paper, and policy and into lives showing masses of humanity together in action.

Concert

As a GCCA partner, World Team Now celebrates Artist Project Earth (APE), holding a benefit concert for victims of East Africa’s famine on Sunday December 4th, during COP17 in Durban.

APE has a long history of raising funds to help those suffering from the effects of natural disasters. To date, three albums have been launched in collaboration with Cuban musicians and Western artists, including Amy Winehouse, Sting, Coldplay, U2, and Gorillaz. Global sales have topped the one and a half million mark allowing the organization to fund nearly 300 global projects which address natural disaster relief and climate change awareness. World Team Now stands in support of this work.

Hope, at the Last Minute

As usual the last two days of the conference, the 8th and the 9th, when the heads of state are all present, we can hope  action will happen.  As much as we would like to see progress here, unfortunately the end may be when the Kyoto Protocol expires— the last chance looks to be Rio in June, but hope still remains for the Kyoto Protocol at COP17. Remembering the legacy of President Lulu and seeing how amazing he was in Copenhagen at COP15, we ask Brazil to keep on the path of transformation at COP17 as in this AVAZ campaign. It would be great if we would awake to perceive these last 20 years of trying to come to an agreement as just a bad dream, and be present to a new reality for our world…

COP16, A Step Forward

In Cancun Mexico, the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, COP16 ended the two weeks of negotiation with a modest agreement sign by 193 countries, included for the first time are both US & China.  The U.N. delegates are calling this “a victory”, and many organizations within the environmental movement consider this a step forward.

 

 

COP16-Youth Move World Leaders

Last Year the Youth Rallied at Copenhagen’s COP15 and this year there was even more action at COP16. Youth  demanded Climate Justice from World Leaders, and they might have indeed helped to create a change..

Mirna Haider, a 21-year-old from Lebanon, today delivered a frank moral message of responsibility from international youth to United Nations leaders at the climate talks.

Haider, a youth climate leader from Lebanon, pressed negotiators during Friday’s high level segment to be more ambitious during the crucial second week of negotiations and highlighted the schism between the urgent case made by scientists and the inadequate solutions proposed by politicians.

“To be young and aware today is to be confused; to wonder why you can stand in front of us and both call for change, and refuse to change,” Haider said.

But Haider also added that she remains hopeful: “To be young and aware today is to know that a bright green future is possible.”

Haider spoke on behalf of about 1,000 young people from more than 40 countries that had traveled to Cancun for the two-week climate talks, many of whom represent large domestic youth constituencies.

A passionate and frustrated Haider spoke out against negotiators’ lack of transparency and interactions with civil society. “You’ve locked yourself in hotels and isolated yourselves from the communities who you are affecting.”

Haider finished by referring negotiators to a powerful statement that has become an unofficial slogan for youth groups at the UN: “You have been negotiating all my life. You cannot tell me you need more time.”

This motto is part of a unified action campaign run by youth organizations at the UN negotiations that  intensified the negotiations.

Through science-based emission reductions youth held interactive demonstration.

Cancun, Mexico 9-12-10 – In an interactive demonstration of the threat of rising sea levels, the international youth climate movement (YOUNGO) showed support for communities vulnerable to climate change disasters.

A 3-metre-wide world map showed the altered coastline of a world in which 2°C of warming has occurred. Passersby, including Mexican government delegates (photo: http://tinyurl.com/2ucnfwp) added their fingerprints to climate change affected areas on the map to call for limiting temperature rise to 1.5oC.

Youth at Cancun are pushing to keep temperature rise level below 1.5 oC, in line with updated science. This in contrast to the target of 2 oC outlined in last year’s Copenhagen Accord, which young people from at-risk communities say is inadequate.

“Small island states are among the most vulnerable to rising sea levels, but developed countries will suffer, too,” said Krishneil Narayan, a youth delegate from Fiji. “We need science-based targets or entire communities will experience disastrous flooding or even disappearing underwater.”

In addition, while the Copenhagen Accord aims to limit temperature rise to 2 oC, its non-binding nature means that countries’ current emission reduction pledges would not meet even this target. Meanwhile, negotiators have struggled to find consensus on setting targets for the second round of the Kyoto Protocol—the most prominent legally binding international treaty on climate change.

As the Cancun talks are wrapping up with high-level ministers negotiating behind closed doors, youth and other affected constituencies are clamoring for raised ambitions and increased urgency on an agreement that addresses the concerns of communities vulnerable to intensified storms and higher sea levels.

Alina Pohkrel, a 19-year-old youth climate leader from Nepal, said to country delegates: “You have been negotiating all my life. You cannot tell me you need more time.”

Justice, and a Victory for Alassane Ouattara?

Victory for Alassane Ouattara?

Victory for Alassane Ouattara?

As the UNFCC conference Cop16 is underway in Cancun Mexico, there is transformational action with results on Africa’s Ivory Coast where Alassane Ouattara has won the long awaited elections.

“Justice for the people, we are all, very, very happy,” said Sinan Kamagate a native of the  of the Village of Bolndoukou in the Ivory Coast and supporter of World Team Now.

Sinan Kamagate comes from a linage of activists and political leaders; his Father was Abdula Kamagate stood his Grandfather for independence and reform.  He explained, “Corruption has been the rule on the Ivory Coast for many years.  This event is the results of many groups coming together, and the voice of the people”.

Here too, the question is; whether the results will be binding, and whether sustainable justice can be for the Ivory Coast with these election results?  This is the same question at stake on the global arena, for binding global policy for international environmental justice.