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Dec 06, 2008

International Day of Action

by HannahElvery — last modified Dec 06, 2008 10:20 PM

Today's day of action on climate change prompts a few questions about my own government's action... or lack thereof.

young-susanWhile the negotiations continued today, many frustrated with the lack of progress inside took to the streets for the International Day of Action on Climate Change.  With plenty of clowns, props and colourful actors it was a good way to let go and have a bit of fun outside the square buildings and fluorescent lights of the negotiating halls.

Being from 'Down under', the best entertainment for me today was watching a conversation between another young woman from Australia, who's here with Australian Youth Delegation, and a fake Kevin Rudd, Prime Minister of Australia.  Kevin Rudd was elected late last year, on promises of a change in climate policy, among other things.  He promptly ratified the Kyoto Protocol and then.... well, not much really.  Obviously this is important to me as a citizen of Australia, but the Rudd government's lack of movement also has an impact on the international negotiations.

Australia could have a positive influence in the negotiations.  To start with, Rudd could set strong emissions reductions targets for Australia - at least 40 percent by 2020, not the measly 5-15 percent that is floating around the pages of Australian newspapers. 


Rudd also needs to clearly state that these targets are not dependent on the actions of other countries, and that developing countries should not have binding emission reduction targets.  This would place at least some pressure on other wealthy nations to do the same, and maybe even lead to something coming out of these talks in Poznan.

At the moment, sadly, it looks like this is about as likely the FoE US woman sitting opposite me jumping up on the table and yelling "I love George Bush" (what I'm saying is that it's bordering on impossible, but there's still a chance, especially considering her level of sleep deprivation over the last week, and tendency to make outrageous comments).

Back to the conversation between the young woman and 'Kev' - with all of her questions, such as why he hasn't set a target, and Kev's lack of response, I had to poke him a few times to make sure he wasn't actually the real Kevin Rudd.

I just realised that I got a bit carried away (build up of frustration and caffeine), and haven't written at all about the International Day of Action.  However, a picture says a thousand words, so if you want to know about the actions in Poznan check out Friend of the Earth International's flickr page...

I hope you had your own fun-packed day of action on climate change.  If not, it's never too late to take action... so how about tomorrow?



Photo: Poznan, 6 December:  Polar bears with Susann Scherbarth from Friends of the Earth Europe, demanding action during the Poznan climate negotiations