It’s all getting very exciting here in Poznan! I’m just bursting with enthusiasm and can hardly know how to sit down and type it all up!
We’ve set up a coalition of all the young people here from EU member states, some coming from youth delegations like the UKYD, but also from the Young Friends of the Earth Europe group, the European Youth Parliament, and various other groups. Starting last Tuesday, we’ve been having daily meetings, each of which has left me feeling inspired and ready to go sort out the EU! They’re such a great bunch of people who are really fun to work with (the EU Youth, not the EU – I don’t know anyone from the EU, but may be they’re great too…).
The EU is a critical target of youth action while we’re here in Poznan. Not only is it a major party within the UN negotiations; it is also currently having its own negotiations in Brussels, over the proposed Energy and Climate Package. The EU promised last year in Bali to finance adaptation to climate change impacts in countries that don’t have the resources to cope – yet as the Package stands, there is no money on the table for this important fund. Where, then, is the incentive for such countries to support the UN process?
The second problem with the Package is that the proposed emissions reductions are far too low. Originally, the EU promised 25-40% reductions by 2020; it’s now saying 20%, or 30% depending on what comes out of the Poznan talks. The latest scientific research suggests we need at least 40% reductions by 2020 in order to have a good chance of avoiding dangerous climate change.
The EU youth will not stand for this!
Today, us cool young people carried out an “action” inside the venue, specifically targetting the EU. We made a big cardboard “Package” and made a big show of looking inside and finding nothing in it except coal (Poland, which is frustratingly holding up the progress of the Package, is heavily reliant on coal for energy). Then a guy from France called Seb and I talked about our demands to our governments, and other people threw into the package a sign saying “40% domestic reductions” and a bucketful of money, to lots of cheers from the crowd that had gathered round. No microphones, so I now have a very sore throat, but a warm glow of having done something.
We got some press to attend (Polish, I think), and lots of passers-by (we were pretty noisy, hence the sore throat).