I have just wrapped up two intense weeks covering the youth movement at the UN Climate Change Conference, in Poznan, Poland, (see youthclimate.org). These young people are the cream of the crop, beautiful, intelligent, dedicated and emotionally invested in Climate Change. They all seem to ‘get it’, understanding that we are talking about the survival of humanity and an estimated 50% of the world’s species if business as usual continues. There should be no debate, but for some reason the governments of the world are stalling, waiting for someone else to lead.
We are faced with less then a year to reach a comprehensive and hard hitting agreement in Copenhagen. Even if we get one, this might not cut back our GHG emissions sufficiently to alter us from our course. Please check out the Guardian article, titled ‘Too Late? Why Scientists say we should expect the worst of global warming’
So, it was with great amount of disappointment and a greater sense to act that I left Poznan today. Two weeks of negotiations and the so called ‘leaders’ of the world failed to take any concrete steps. If I examine the inaction of the governments of the world and the increasingly grim science, it is hard not to be a pessimist about my future. I feel that we are well on the road to disaster. However, when I examine the people that I work with, one can’t help but be optimistic that we will win. We have a year to build the largest global movement of social change and force our governments to do adopt serious targets about Climate Change.
In Australia Hundreds of people across the country have held protests against the Rudd government’s target of reducing carbon emissions by five to 15 per cent by 2020.
My question, what is it going to take in Canada for the population to wake up? We need a government that will first off acknowledge Climate Change, will work with a base line year of 1990 and throw the intensity based emission targets out the window. Three things that all environment critics of the prospective Coalition government and the leader of the Green Party have personally promised me they will do……
This is the issue of our generation, and how we act on it this year will change the course of the world.