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 Friday, February 19, 2010 by Danielle | | 0 comments
Tuesday, December 8th: - Youth have high-level briefing with Chair of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action Michael Zammit-Cutajar, and John Ashe, Chair of the UN group discussing rich countries’ emissions. - Youth and NGOs meet with EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Change Jonathan Pershing, and Assistant Secretary of Energy for Policy and International Affairs David Sandelow for an off-the-record meeting.
Wednesday, December 9th: - Rapid Response team is created! The US Youth are calling friends back home to get them to engage their Senators to vote for domestic climate legislation based on science. Tuvalu protests Danish leaked text outside of a plenary session.
Thursday, December 10th: - Young and Future Generations Day: 1,000 youth wore bright orange t-shirts that read "How Old Will You Be in 2050?" and "Don't Bracket Our Future" bringing light to the issue that youth will bare the brunt of climate change. - Indian Youth Representative gives amazing speech at meeting with Yvo de Boer - watch the video: http://www.youtube.com/willsteger1#p/search/0/4XTr2VEhIBY
US and Chinese youth meet to discuss commonalities between our countries and develop strategic positions and actions for the negotiations. Watch the resulting press conference: http://www.youtube.com/willsteger1#p/search/0/4lLvpC4Ky9M
Friday, December 11th: Saturday, December 12th: - Biggest march around climate change ever. The streets of Copenhagen were a sea of lights when over 100,000 people joined together in a march for international awareness of climate change issues and calling for a legally binding treaty at the end of this week based on science. Watch the video: http://www.youtube.com/willsteger1#p/search/0/jsSreaR3O0Y
Posted On Friday, February 19, 2010 by Aurora C | | 0 comments
Posted On Sunday, February 07, 2010 by Jamie | | 0 comments
The Copenhagen climate conference taught me we will have to adapt to the effects of climate change. If this had not been clear in my mind beforehand, the stories I heard from global young people awoke me to reality. I heard about droughts in Kenya and floods in Bangladesh. Youth from my local area shared stories of environmental illnesses and inequities. In addition, Pershing, the head United States negotiator at the conference, explained to us in a hearing that while we do not know the exact amount of funding that will be needed for climate change adaptation in the coming decades, the numbers will be high and the need is urgent. Change has begun. I know that I cannot sit idly by as climate change accelerates.
As I continue to reflect on my intense team experience of the negotiations, I ask myself how I can help a changing world transition into a healthier place where we will continue to face climate change. The most important lesson I learned in Copenhagen was how critical it is for me to work within my own community to create solutions to climate change. The Midwest will be a critically important region as we work for national climate legislation, and I have political power as a voter and organizer in a swing state. This legislation could help our Midwest states thrive as we shift to a new clean energy economy.
This fall, riding my bike around Minnesota with Reed, I saw many examples of climate solutions. This trip inspired me to find ways to engage my community through gardening, alternative transportation, and other measures for adapting to a changing world. The Midwest contains vast stretches of agricultural land and a large portion of the earth’s fresh water. We have many opportunities to lead the globe through local initiatives.
Through the Copenhagen conference, I also realized that my work to study past adaptations to climate change and vulnerable ecosystems has real value for us today. I fell in love with archaeology in high school and decided to focus on ancient food production in college. More sustainable, healthier agricultural systems are possible, and past farming techniques can provide examples for how to innovate and move forward without fossil fuels. Every area of study, and every student, can help us face the future as responsible citizens of the globe through local action. What will you do?