By Caroline Henderson
I’m so excited and grateful to be here in Copenhagen for the International Climate Negotiations. These next two weeks are going to be jam-packed and intense. But it’s the organizers in the states who have the big job. This weekend was the Conference of Youth where over 500 youth delegates from around the world gathered to prepare for our role as youth .
I have met so many inspiring young people– a young woman in Indonesia helping farmers in her community adapt with the changing climate and its effect on agricultural production, organizers from Australia who put on a spectacular flash mob dance at Power Shift Australia, and so many more.
To think that, as we were embarking as climate leaders in our country, what happened here two years ago (Power Shift 2007) has become a wave of Power Shifts around the world!
The US carries not only a huge carbon footprint, but a powerful influence over the outcome of the conference- what commitments other countries will make (or not make) and ultimately, the fate of these young people around the world.
Tomorrow is when the real job starts. I am committed to connecting with you all throughout my time here. I want to make sure you all are represented here, and that what happens here does not go unnoticed- that we as Americans react to the good, the bad, and the ugly with full force! Not just a few hundred of us here at the conference center. It’s YOU who will be able to take the message home to our politicians, to the people who have so much sway over the fate of the entire planet.
That’s why I’m writing to you! Youth delegates (like me about 17 other Sierra Student Coalition delegates) from around the country will be contacting their friends, classmates, and fellow organizers back home so that we can collectively affect the U.S. negotiation position. We’ll all need to use media, grassroots support, and our creative energy to voice our expectations for the negotiations and the Obama Administration- “FAB” fair, ambitious and binding action.
As part of the Rapid Response Team, you’ll be part of the team of young people from around the world who are working to positively influence the outcome of these negotiations. You’ll receive breaking updates through emails and phone calls from youth delegates in Copenhagen- and you’ll help us tell our local papers, pressure our state leaders, and remind President Obama that, no matter where we are geographically, we stand together. We need strong international commitments this year.
I’m impressed by the work you each have done- I’m grateful to have such smart, compassionate people with me on this journey. Our story is part of a larger GLOBAL dialogue. We need our leaders to make decisions that reflect SCIENTIFIC REALITIES and that take OUR FUTURE into account. We as youth cannot continue to “wait our turn” to change the fate of the planet.
Member SSC COP15 Youth Delegation
Sierra Student Coalition
Via Its Getting Hot In Here