Saturday, 13 December 2008

Poznan: Tipping my hat to the Australian youth delegation and their international counterparts

With around one hundred and eighty-seven countries represented at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Poland this week predictably at loggerheads about the details on how to proceed to combat the worst effects of climate change through an enduring treaty, I take some comfort from the voice of youth.
It might not be a globally inclusive voice and I suspect that in many respects it is a somewhat elitist voice (and I can't help nostalgically thinking they aren't a patch on the 60s mob), but this a young voice speaking loudly and clearly to the rest of the world - p#ss or get off the pot!
I just hope that Rudders and Co are really listening and Penny Wong formally embraces this perspective rather than just paying lipservice to it at the Ministerial Roundtable yesterday.

Crikey reports:

20 young Australians have come to Poznan, Poland for the United Nations Conference on Climate Change as part of the Australian Youth Delegation. Mostly self funded, we have travelled here to make sure the youth voice is heard on climate change and to ensure that world leaders step up and stop dangerous climate change. This delegation has been hosted by the Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC), a coalition of over 20 youth organisations working on climate change issues around Australia....

The Australian Youth Delegates at the United Nations conference are calling on the government to set emission reduction targets of over 40% by 2020 to safeguard their future and the future of Pacific Islands...

A group of young people from over 50 countries attending the UN Climate Negotiations in Poland have achieved an extraordinary feat today: negotiating an international statement based on the "survival principle" and getting senior negotiators to sign their countries up to it.

Over 80 countries, including the United Kingdom, Japan, Costa Rica, Tuvalu and Bangladesh, as well as leading experts on climate change including Australia's Tim Flannery, Sir Nicolas Stern and Nobel prize winner Dr. Rajendra Pachauri have signed on to the statement that a global climate change agreement must "safeguard the survival of all countries and peoples".

For a conference that has otherwise been a bland non-event, this statement has resonated widely with delegates. Many nations have placed a "survival" placard handed out by the youth delegates over their country's name placards.

These young delegates had joined adult national representatives at the Poznań conference on Thursday to hear the UN Secretary-General outline its objectives:

First is a workplan for next year's negotiations. I am glad that an agreement has already been achieved. Second, you need to sketch out the critical elements of a long-term vision. We need a basic framework for cooperative action starting today, not in 2012. Within this framework, industrialized countries must set ambitious long-term goals, coupled with midterm emission reduction targets.

Developing countries need to limit the growth of their emissions as well. To do so they will need robust financial and technological support -- not just promises, but tangible results. Adaptation will be key, including risk reduction and management. Change must be integrated with strategies for development and poverty alleviation. One without the other means failure for both. The world's poorest should not suffer first and worst from a problem they did least to create.

Third, we must recommit ourselves to the urgency of our cause. This requires leadership -- your leadership. Yes, the economic crisis is serious. Yet when it comes to climate change, the stakes are even far higher. The climate crisis affects our potential prosperity and our peoples' lives, both now and far into the future.

Message to Political Leaders: Consider Our Future
It's Getting Hot In Here, DC - 8 Dec 2008
In every possible way we, as an International Youth Delegation representing over 50 nations, are trying to make the case that the time is running out to ...
Alta. oilsands criticized at UN summit, Canada - 23 hours ago
A Canadian youth delegation attending the UN climate-change conference in Poznan, Poland, set up a photo display, scrutinizing Alberta's environmental ...
Poznań: The Maturing of the Youth Contingent
Worldwatch Institute, DC - 10 hours ago
Answer: they are both the voice of the international youth delegation, an increasingly vocal, organized, and perhaps bureaucratized presence at the ongoing ...
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Solomon Times Online, Solomon Islands - 10 Dec 2008
Leah Wickham, a Greenpeace volunteer from Fiji, who is part of a youth delegation to Poznan, said countries like Australia had not demonstrated political ...
The thrills and spills of carbon-reduced travel
The Age, Australia - 5 Dec 2008
Australian Youth Delegation overland team Nic Seton, 22, of the Gold Coast, Anna Keenan, 23 of Brisbane, Jack Fuller, 23 of Melbourne, Oliver Cashman, ...

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