The 9th Conference of Youth

Before the 19th Conference of the Parties began in Warsaw this month, climate activists from around the world organized a conference of the youth to discuss pressing climate issues and to prepare participants from civil society for the forthcoming negotiations. Having just become a part of the international climate movement, I had absolutely no idea of what to really expect. The weeks leading up to the conference were full of excitement but also anxiousness as I was unsure how I would fit into the picture. As I walked in the first day, I was immediately impressed by the organization of the conference, the individuals in attendance, and the overarching sense of solidarity permeating the conference halls. Never before had I been in the presence of such a diverse group of people that were committed to the same ideals as mine. Getting insight into youth movements across countries was an inspiring reminder of how beautiful this movement is. The scale of this problem is enormous and seemingly impossible to tackle, but that hasn't stopped the momentum of the youth involved in this fight whose future is most at risk by the decisions made in the next few decades. Workshops were held, demonstrations were made, speeches were given; all done in the name of a larger narrative that all in attendance are a part of. At the end of it all, I was more assured of my ability to contribute to the incredible work that has been carried on by youth climate activists over the past several years. It was an attestament to how much passion, dedication, and work is required to sustain movements like this. The continual work of everyone involved is a humbling reminder of the capacity of the human spirit and its ability to persevere in the face of impossible odds. I am proud to say that I attended an event as moving as this. My experience here will always stay with me and affect how I think about the work I do in the future, whatever that may be.

Don’t Discount Our Future

This article has been crossposted from YouthPolicy.Org. Read the original article.

If we are going to address climate change internationally we need to value the lives of future generations’ as much as present ones’ and not discount them.

Climate change is at heart an intergenerational issue. The reason for addressing climate change is essentially to avoid dangerous impacts upon the lives of future generations. Yet, the principle of Intergenerational Equity has rarely been a talking point within the international negotiations on climate change.

Credit: Dilbert Comics


United States Youth Delegates Fast in Solidarity With the Philippines, Call on the US for Real Leadership on Climate

12 November 2013

WARSAW - In the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, head Filipino negotiator Nadarev Yeb Saño announced 11 Nov at the UN COP19 climate negotiations that he will begin a “Fast for the Climate.” Nine U.S. youth delegates from SustainUS and the Sierra Student Coalition (SSC) announced they are joining a fast in solidarity with Saño and the Philippines. Saño’s country is experiencing tremendous hardship: Haiyan is its second extreme weather event in under a year. As of Tuesday, reports estimated at least 10,000 fatalities and 600,000 displaced in the wake of the typhoon.

SustainUS and SSC believe the best way for the United States to act in solidarity with the Philippines is to address the root cause of climate-fueled disasters like Haiyan by implementing ambitious national climate policy. Given the current political reality in the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) holds the key to substantial nation-wide carbon reductions: the EPA can bypass a Congress reticent to address climate policy.

In its upcoming decision regarding regulations on carbon emissions from existing power plants, the EPA has substantial discretion. “The EPA can write weak regulations that achieve next to nothing or ambitious regulations that produce results,” said SustainUS delegate Clayton Munnings. “Strong regulations will reduce carbon emissions from existing plants upward of 26% below 2005 levels, by the end of the decade.”

SSC delegate Ashok Chandwaney remarked, “Yeb Saño inspires us to act; we fast in solidarity with him, because that’s what we can do. We ask those who make decisions about climate - here at COP19, back at the EPA, and around the world - to listen to him, summon their courage, and dial up their ambition for the work we must do.”

In choosing to fast, the members of SustainUS and the SSC are calling on President Obama and the EPA to demonstrate real federal leadership on climate in the United States. SSC delegate Ashley Wineland remarked, “People in the Philippines, people everywhere are being affected by something we can still easily change. The country I'm from is blocking the policies that could make the storms stop getting worse. People are dying and my government is doing nothing, yet. They need to be pushed; I couldn't not fast.”


SustainUS: Adam Greenberg < This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. > +48 733 688 202
Sierra Student Coalition: Ashok Chandwaney < This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. >

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T: @SustainUSAgents, @Sierrastudent

 Download this press release.