Had a great day today – feel a lot more involved with what’s going on, mainly because I went to a Climate Action Network (CAN) meeting. CAN is a network of all the climate change non-governmental organisations (NGOs) who come to the UN talks. That’s groups like Oxfam, WWF, and Greenpeace. Three of us went along from the UK Youth Delegation to the CAN strategy meeting, which lasted five hours but which left us buzzing and skipping along the road because we were so pumped up!
Started off with every single person standing up and saying their name and organisation, which was when I realised i was sat in a hall with THE big people of climate change thinking/lobbying/action in the world (though granted, still massively unrepresentative, overwhelmingly from the global North).
Interesting stuff to note:
- We broke up into smaller working groups and the Communications working group that I joined in with was saying all the same kinds of things that the international youth have been saying in our conference this weekend. This shows two things: firstly that we’re all reading off the same page, and secondly that no one has any right to look down on young people or ignore us, because we are just as switched on and knowledgeable as the “grown ups” and even more fired up and passionate about what’s going on here in Poznan
- We should be pretty proud of the UK because it was mentioned a few times as a country that is leading the way in climate change policy – we’ve just got a Climate Change Act, which is a massive deal
- On the other hand, the EU is being pretty rubbish at the moment – still insists it’s leading the world on climate change, but a few countries (e.g. Poland (ironic), Germany and Italy) are stalling the progress of the Climate Change Package that’s currently being negotiated.
- This means there’s more need than ever for us to target our government in the UK, saying “look we’re doing a great job with this new Act, but if we don’t push and push within the EU, that’s going to bring down this shiny reputation we’ve won ourselves” because the EU negotiates as a bloc here in Poznan.
Opening ceremony 10am tomorrow, then the talks begin! We’re all SO excited in the UK Youth Delegation – banner-painting going on upstairs as I type. Can’t wait for tomorrow!