Aly Johnson-Kurts, SustainUS Press Secretary
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For Immediate Release
8 December 2015
Youth from around the world gathered inside COP21 to demand a strong long term goal from negotiators. Individuals painted circles around an eye to signal their support for zero emission by 2050 to limit global warming to 1.5C, standing in solidarity with those on the frontlines of the climate crisis. The demonstration was accompanied by a theatrical action that symbolized efforts to block adequate finance and support for vulnerable countries at COP21.
“The negotiations at COP21 are not delivering the action needed to protect communities that are already being impacted by a growing climate emergency,” said Soumya Sudhakar, a youth delegate with SustainUS. “We gather today to show the strength and power of our movement. The circles around our eyes don’t just mean zero emissions–they mean that we are watching negotiators and watching out for our world. ”
The goal of 1.5C has been a major demand from youth and frontline communities at COP21. This is the level of warming at which communities in small island nations could have a chance of continuing their way of life without relocating due to sea level rise and extreme weather. Those pushing for 1.5C say that this goal means that the world must decarbonize–reach zero emissions–by 2050. The previous statement that 2C is a “safe-level” is not true for those on the frontlines of the crisis, say youth activists and those from impacted communities.
“The difference between 1.5C and 2C warming is the difference between a home and no home,” declared Garrett Blad at the action. “I ask global leaders: if your home was disappearing, what would you do?”
The action was organized in collaboration by youth from diverse communities around the world.