December 9, 2009
US Youth Crash Climate Denier Live Webcast in Copenhagen
Young Clean Energy Advocates called "Hitler Youth" by Climate Denier Lord Monckton
COPENHAGEN, DENMARK - Fifty young Americans took over a climate denier conference hosted by a prominent conservative organization this evening in Copenhagen, rushing the stage and telling the live TV audience that a clean energy future is the real road to prosperity in America. The young people, merely a fraction of the more than 350 US youth in Denmark for the UN climate negotiations, entered a session of the Americans for Prosperity "Hot Air Tour" speakers series and were able to drop two banners and gain access to the conference's stage. The live event was webcast to over forty climate denier rallies in cities across the United States. See a video at http://bit.ly/4FAljl and pictures at http://is.gd/5hbUR.
The students entered the event in small groups, joining a paltry audience of five conference attendees, who had come to hear climate denier Lord Christopher Monckton speak about the Copenhagen climate negotiations. After the first five minutes of the event, student representatives from SustainUS, the Sierra Student Coalition, the Cascade Climate Network, and other American youth NGOs displayed banners reading "Climate Disaster Ahead" and "Clean Energy Now." After security agents at the event took the banners, the young attendees began a chant of "Real Americans for Prosperity are Americans for Clean Energy." The chant lasted five minutes, as the youth took the stage and displayed their message for the live video feed being sponsored by Americans for Prosperity, despite evasive action by Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips and his camera crew. As they left the stage, Lord Monckton repeatedly called the activists "crazed Hitler Youth" and "nazis."
"We are Americans for prosperity too," says Ethan Buckner of the Sierra Student Coalition, "Prosperity that's created through a new clean energy economy that will revitalize the American economy and provide millions of clean energy jobs for our generation and all generations to come." "We need a strong climate and clean energy bill from Congress and a science-based and just treaty in Copenhagen in order to jump start this new energy economy Americans are calling for so loudly," adds Ben Wessel of SustainUS, "The youth of America are ready to move forward into a sustainable future, and we need our elected officials to join us. We refuse to sit quietly today while our leaders decide the future of tomorrow."
Check out this BBC link and see if you can spot our "Agents of Penguin Change" delegates! BBC News: Copenhagen climate change rally leads to arrestsHelp our delegates keep pressure on our leaders at the crucial UN Climate talk in Copenhagen and join this weekend's global actions and candlelight vigils!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
U.S. and International Youth Sit-In at Bella Center in Copenhagen to Raise Expectations for Outcome
December 16, 2009
Copenhagen, Denmark – At 5:00pm today, during the opening of the high level segment of this year’s international climate change negotiations, a group of approximately 30 international youth staged a sit-in, refusing to leave the talks until a fair, ambitious, and legally binding treaty was reached. The group included young people from both developed and developing nations, including 10 Americans.
The young people gathered and initiated the sit-in at the main hall of the conference centre where more than 110 heads of government are expected in coming days. They immediately began to read the names of the more than 11 million people who signed a petition demanding the same fair, ambitious, and legally binding agreement that is needed to avoid dangerous climate change and usher in a global clean energy economy.
“The U.S., along with many other rich nations, has fallen pitifully short and even obstructed progress here in Copenhagen. Despite this, President Obama and other heads of state still have a chance to make the necessary commitments to keeping global warming as far below a 2 degree increase as possible in a legally binding, ambitious, and equitable way,” said action participant Rachel Butler from Madison, Wisconsin. “Americans are disappointed that our government, which has historically polluted more than any other country, has failed to play the befitting leadership role in these negotiations that determine our future, and they have failed to represent the majority of Americans who want stronger action on climate change.”
Around 6:30pm, Bella Center security began gathering around the circle of non-violent sitters, who were seated in a central walkway between plenary rooms. The youth were not entirely blocking the flow of foot traffic, and were garnering considerable media attention. With a huge group of international reporters present and cameras rolling, the police officers began roughly grabbing youth by the arms and shoulders, and dragging them across the center floor. Reporters and young people surrounded the police mob, chanting, ''The whole world is watching.'' After detaining several youth, the remaining protesters were left on the side of the hallway, where they currently remain as of 8:30pm. One hour after the police incident, Senator John Kerry arrived and shook hands with all the protesters, raising sprits among the group.
The U.S. youth maintain that recent events have not lowered their own ambition. “America can still raise our targets; numerous reports have shown that world-class, science-based targets will have a marginal impact on economic growth, and a positive impact on job creation in a clean energy economy. America should lead the world in clean energy, and yet in every technology area we lag behind countries like China, India and Denmark. We can still pledge additional, sustainable, and predictable climate finance, in accordance with ‘common but differentiated responsibilities’ and historical responsibility. Above all, the U.S. must be a leader on climate change; the defining issue of our time,” emphasized Dominic MacCormack, a youth from San Francisco, California.
For more information and to arrange interviews with U.S. participants, contact Dominic MacCormack at , or +45 5269 4035
Monday, December 14 at 4:00pm Bella Center- Asger Jorn press conference room, Copenhagen, Denmark
12.14.2009 – Following the successful meeting of United States and Chinese youth last Thursday at the University of Copenhagen, a joint press conference featuring youth of the two respective countries will be held December 14 at 4:00pm. Youth representatives from the United States and China will discuss their experiences from the joint meeting and share plans to continue the development of a relationship based on mutual trust and cooperation in transitioning towards a prosperous and sustainable future for both countries.
Holly Jones, age 21 of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa says, “At first we weren’t sure that we would see eye to eye on enough issues in order to have a real conversation about what’s needed to preserve a safe climate and create a clean energy economy, but as we’ve talked, shared, hung out, and laughed together, we’re realizing that we must learn to come together in order to guarantee the safety of young people across the globe. I hope our elected officials can do the same.”
Shane Zhao, international director of the China Youth Climate Action Network, agrees with Ms. Jones, and adds, “Climate change is ultimately a problem that relates to politics and it’s therefore a cultural problem. We must start as early as possible to break down the cultural walls.”
By joining together, Chinese and United States youth are leading in a way that their elected officials have not been able to. While the synergy is not without it’s fair share of arguments and differences of opinions, it is entirely built on shared trust and frank and honest conversation. Come hear about the future of Sino-American climate diplomacy from those who will wield power in their nations for the next century.
For more information:
The CBD was established in 1993 with 3 main objectives:
- The conservation of biological diversity
- The sustainable use of the components of biological diversity
- The fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources
This year, 2010, is a biodiversity target year. In 2002, parties committed themselves to “achieve by 2010 a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss at the global, regional and national level as a contribution to poverty alleviation and to the benefit of all life on Earth.” The negotiating parties will be working to create a text on Access and Benefit-Sharing at the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity. The convention will take place from October 18-29, 2010 in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. For more information, check out the CBD website at http://www.cbd.int/cop10/.
Are you interested in becoming involved with preparing for or serving on this delegation, or know someone who would? If so, please email Lea the SustainUS CBD Policy Advisor at lea[.]lupkin [@] sustainus.org.