Will Steger Foundation Expedition Copenhagen 2009
The Expedition Copenhagen team consists of Midwest youth who will travel to the international climate negotiations in Copenhagen, Denmark, December 5-19, 2009. The expedition will be led in part by internationally renowned polar explorer Will Steger, and designed in collaboration with youth climate partners across the region.
Posted On Monday, November 23, 2009 by Jamie R., WI | | 0 comments
Coinciding with the Copenhagen meet, India is considering a legislation incorporating all its action plans and national missions aimed at reducing dependence on coal based fuels and "improving" the environment by 20 per cent by 2020.
During their meeting tomorrow, Singh and Obama will discuss what kind of outcome is expected from Copenhagen meet beginning on December 7, sources said. India and a number of developing countries want "legally binding substantive outcome" from the meet and do not endorse the recent statement by the US and other APEC nations that a mere political declaration would do.
The sources said that India does not want the world to give up with regard to Copenhagen meet, as is being done by some countries.
India feels that there is still time for Copenhagen conference, particularly its high-level segment beginning on December 16, and efforts should be made to push the negotiations for an outcome mandated by United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and Bali action plan.
There should be no attempt to pre-empt the Copenhagen meet as 192 countries are involved in it and the consensus would be required even if it is not possible to achieve a legally binding declaration at Copenhagen, some consensus should be arrived at the end, the sources said.
The effort should be to see "how far we can go", they said.
"We should try to get the maximum from Copenhagen and the template should continue to be UNFCCC and Bali action Plan," a source said.
On its part, India does not wish to see any outcome that will diminish the prospect of its development. If the Copenhagen meet fails to arrive at legally binding outcome it should pave the way for such results in the next six months or so. UNFCCC provides for countries furnishing their domestic commitments about what they have done in the past and what they intend to do in the future.
India is willing to adhere to this even if the national commitments have to be submitted periodically.
The sources pointed out India already has a domestic action plan which is voluntary and aimed at specific target. These include solar mission and green India vision which are aimed at "improving" environment by 20 per cent by 2020.
The government plans to encapsulate the various climate action plan in the form of a legislation, the sources said. They said India and the US bilaterally have conversion of views on climate issue even though they may differ at multilateral negotiations.
Both countries agree that there is an inter-link between climate change and energy security and the necessity of use of technology to fight this problem. The sources emphasised that there was critical consensus in India over how to approach Copenhagen meet notwithstanding a recent statement by Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh which created confusion before he issued a clarification.
One of these efforts comes from our friends at 1Sky with “Make Art for Climate” campaign. From October 28th until December 1st groups have gathered and are still gathering together to create art that sends a message to our President to step up his efforts for strong climate legislation. In the month of December these pieces of art will be delivered to members of the Obama Administration and the Senate in order for them to receive a visual reminder of what is truly needed for us as a country and as a world.
Last weekend I had the opportunity to participate in one of these gatherings. I met with my policy mentor and friend from 1Sky Katy Walters and some other friends that joined and created a piece of art that we believe represents our urgent need for a strong binding climate bill in the United States and treaty in the Copenhagen Negotiations. I have to say it was a great opportunity as a group to get together and have a good time, enjoy some good conversation and fun while at the same time knowing that we were doing something positive to make a difference.
I hope that more of you get inspired on doing something similar in anticipation to the negotiations and if you want more details check out www.1sky.org. Groups like this one are getting together across the country and you can always also start one of your own. Lets ensure that we do everything possible to pressure our leaders and have them know that we are all concerned for our future, the future of the youth and that of coming generations.Chalie
Posted On Thursday, November 19, 2009 by Sarah M | | 0 comments
Ensuring Accountability from Elected Leaders
Written by: Sarah Mullkoff
Exactly two weeks from now, eleven of my fellow youth climate engaged friends and I will be traveling to
Throughout the fall, our anticipation has been brewing as to what to expect of the negotiations. There has been uncertainty to if this year’s negotiations will actually result in a binding agreement, or just another step along the way. Analysts have predicted four options that could occur: no agreement, a decision or set of decisions, a politically implementing agreement, or a new legally binding protocol. (http://www.iied.org/pubs/pdfs/17074IIED.pdf)
Despite ongoing speculative domestic legislation and other unreliable politics, our youth delegation stands strong with our stance of demanding a strong, just, binding agreement to come be agreed upon this December.
This past weekend we learned of disheartening news from President’ Obama’s administration, admitting that a comprehensive climate deal was beyond reaches this year. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/16/science/earth/16climate.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=UN%20climate%20negotiations&st=cse
Considering this, I thought back to one year ago, when this man became elected President of the
Maintaining this priority, we now have the responsibility to demand our elected officials accountability on such issues on a clean energy economy to secure the protection of our climate.
President Obama could have a tremendous influence on affecting our domestic legislation by attending the UN Conference, as our policy choices influence the rest of the worlds decisions. It is quite possible that the president will not make any progression towards an international climate treaty. As youth, we have the moral responsibility to hold our president accountable. There is no longer time for business as usual, we demand that the time for change is now!
Posted On Wednesday, November 11, 2009 by Danielle | | 0 comments
Posted On Sunday, November 08, 2009 by Maia | | 0 comments
News came in from the U.N. Barcelona climate talks last week that African countries had walked out on the negotiations. They were protesting developed countries’ unwillingness to set firm carbon reduction commitments, saying the talks could not continue without rich nations assuming their responsibilities. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has determined that developed countries must cut emissions by 25-40% by 2020 from 1990 levels in order to avoid the worst consequences of global warming. Norway is the only country that has made a 40% commitment.
The boycott of the negotiations by African countries lasted one day and made a powerful statement about the status of the talks. Rich countries are trying to maneuver around the changes they must make for a successful agreement, including setting binding emissions targets and creating an international compliance mechanism necessary to measure emissions levels. Meanwhile, developing countries are already experiencing the affects of climate change in the form of extreme weather and ecological change.
Developed countries, comprising only 20% of the world’s population, have been the significant contributors of global greenhouse gas emissions that are hurting developing nations first and worst. We have also enjoyed economic prosperity that gives us greater capacity to mitigate climate change. Because of these factors, we have tremendous responsibility as global citizens to lead in taking bold action on climate change and assisting other countries as they adapt.
Meanwhile, legislation on climate change here at home in the United States has become increasingly politicized. Republican members of the Environment and Public Works Committee boycotted the scheduled mark-up of the climate change bill after having already received an extension to amend the bill. Closer to home, nearly all Republican gubernatorial candidates in Minnesota reject global warming science and the human impact on climate. Political stances such as these seem so out of place in the context of international climate talks that have been taking place for more than a decade. In particular, the African boycott of the Barcelona negotiations highlights the absurdity of the energy bill boycott that took place in the United States.
Expedition Copenhagen delegates recognize that developed countries including our own will be tempted to drag their feet when it comes to commitments in Copenhagen. We recognize that it is our role to emphasize the importance of the outcomes of this conference to our own futures. It is also important to us that we join together with other youth from developed and developing nations in a global movement to bring sense to these negotiations and demand leadership from developed countries. By assuring there are international youth viewpoints at these negotiations, we have a better likelihood of achieving a bold, just, and binding treaty. That is why the Will Steger Foundation has partnered with other North American organizations to sponsor the attendance of a robust youth delegation from Latin America. We will be fundraising for these youth as well as for ourselves. Please consider donating to this cause.
Posted On Friday, November 06, 2009 by Jamie R., WI | | 0 comments
Posted On Friday, November 06, 2009 by Danielle | | 0 comments