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Jun 05, 2009

Demand climate justice in copenhagen

by PhilLee — last modified Jun 05, 2009 02:36 PM
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Call on world leaders to do the right thing at crucial climate talks in Copenhagen this December.

BL-1st-Prakesh Hatvalne-IndiaAt the climate change summit in Copenhagen in December, world leaders will make decisions affecting the future of our planet. They will have an historic opportunity to commit to actions that help to protect us from the disastrous consequences of dangerous climate change.

 

Sign Friends of the Earth International's petition to urge them to do the right thing by our climate and people all over the world.

 

Have you done your homework?

by PhilLee — last modified Jun 05, 2009 10:10 PM
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Delegates from 182 countries are in Bonn discussing key negotiating texts which can serve as the basis for critical climate talks in Copenhagen this December. Sam fleet from Friends of the Earth Europe and also a member of the Young Friends of the Earth Europe movement (Young FoEE) is there.

Young FoEE Bonn Aciton 4The alarm seemed to be ringing before I’d even set it. The night had ended around 1am, and the plan was to have the action set up at 8am, leaving the hostel at exactly 7:22, after packing everything up and moving bags and all, along with our tents, in preparation for the night’s camping. This would be followed by another teaser around 11am, a meeting with the German delegation, a further action at 1pm, talks, talks and more talks, and the small matter of a football match. I began to question whether I could somehow disguise my youth status and sneak a couple extra hours of sleep, but to no avail. I was bundled out of bed at 6:30am sharp.

 

By the time I emerged from the building, the action group were already packing the van, with desks, chalk, cut-out cartoons, banners, benches and bodies. Bags were hurled into a spare room and somehow the majority of us made it for the bus with a minute to spare.

 

On arrival, the police had changed the venue of the action at the last minute, but it suited us: with a clear view of the Maritim Hotel the action team began to set up. First came the tables and benches, then the blackboard, then the banners. I dashed inside to hand out the last press releases to the media and returned to find a fully-fledged classroom, complete with noisy and unruly students, dominating the route towards the Maritim. The idea behind the action: it’s the end of the first week of the UNFCCC climate conference, and the leaders of industrialised nations have failed to do their homework on climate change.

 

I will not invest in cole

Climate talks in Bonn-crop

The action team were kitted out in masks depicting Merkel, Sarkozy, Obama, Aso, Van Rompuy, Brown, Reinfeldt, Rudd and Berlusconi and all dressed in uniform. The teacher, armed with a megaphone, ordered the mob to write lines on the blackboard as punishment for failing to do their homework: “I will not invest in cole, nuklear and offsetting [sic]” wrote Sarkozy, and “I must reduce my carbon emmisions [sic] by 40% by 2020” wrote Merkel. Despite the best efforts of the leaders to lay blame on their dogs or fellow classmates, and several ambitious attempts to deny any knowledge of the words “historical” or “responsibility” they ended the class with a unified chant: “Climate Justice Now! Climate Justice Now!”. Watch out for the Young FoEE video of the event, coming soon.

 

Sadly the event received less media attention than I’d hoped, despite the media team’s best efforts, although a Japanese journalist took great interest, and a local Bonn paper promised to run the story. But, importantly the delegates loved it. The event was met with unanimous positivity. Colleagues in the media team interviewed many, asking if they too had done their homework.

 

The action was undeniably a huge success; the only hiccup the lack of media attention – I asked myself if I too had failed to do my homework!

 

The flood is coming...

by PhilLee — last modified Jun 05, 2009 12:00 AM
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Delegates from 182 countries are in Bonn discussing key negotiating texts which can serve as the basis for critical climate talks in Copenhagen this December. Sam fleet from Friends of the Earth Europe and also a member of the Young Friends of the Earth Europe movement (Young FoEE) is there.

Young FoEE Bonn - Action 2After leaving the press invitation in the capable hands of the media group, I was dragged out of the Maritim Hotel to document the first teaser action. Six Young FoEE-ers, armed with chalk and stickers were determined to take the message of climate justice to the citizens of Bonn.

 

After energetically peppering every lampost and sign in sight they decided they should probably stick to the original plan and save some resources for the centre, and we all jumped on the tram and set our sights on central Bonn.

 

Young FoEE Bonn - action1The same enthusiasm was released upon the streets, literally, with the small team covering the central pedestrian areas with the slogans “The Flood is coming” and “Demand Climate Justice”. The reaction was mixed. Positive interest and excitement from the younger generation, and grumbles, mumbles, shuffles and general despair from the much elder. But then it is Young FoEE.

 

I returned to the Maritim early to finish the press release for Friday’s action and to make sure we had spokespeople for the day, and made time to sign myself up for the UNFCCC football championships. Could this be a prank? Would they really unleash a team of NGO workers onto a football field with national delegates? We’ll find out.

 

Young FoEE Bonn - Action 3Young FoEE were treated to an introduction to Climate Justice Now!, with stirring talks from affected people in the Global South, and everyone took a well deserved beer after almost 12 hours non-stop activity. Thoroughly exhausted I returned to the Young FoEE camp where meetings continued long into the night, with final preparations and last minute arrangements for tomorrow.

 

Fingers crossed…


more climate coverage

Bingo and beach parties in Bonn

by PhilLee — last modified Jun 05, 2009 11:15 PM
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Delegates from 182 countries are in Bonn discussing key negotiating texts which can serve as the basis for critical climate talks in Copenhagen this December. Sam fleet from Friends of the Earth Europe and also a member of the Young Friends of the Earth Europe movement (Young FoEE) is there.

Young FoEE-Bonn-Merkel cutoutI took a second to reassess the situation after the detention action, and was shocked to find that it was only 10:30am. Some rushed discussions about further press work interrupted my sleepy ponderings, and then I had to dash to meet the policy group, who were badgering me to photograph their meeting with the German delegation, which I was more than happy to do.

 

The debate seemed lively, although I must admit I had no idea what they were talking about. I was unsure whether I found it inspiring or troubling that so many of the participants, who were clearly much younger than myself, seemed so knowledgeable about policy, and knew so many acronyms: I was still mulling over the sign outside the Maritim Hotel which appeared to point to BINGO.

 

After lunch and a swift media group meeting, it was time to join BUND Jugend, the German Young FoEE group, preparing a beach party outside the Maritim, with cut-out cartoons of Merkel and climate refugees. Having been refused permission to present either the cut-out figures or the accompanying film inside the Maritim, they used portable laptops to show passers-by the clip, and collected signed postcards.

 

Discussions with Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, followed concerning the vague action policy surrounding the event, resulting in permission for the entry of Merkel and company into the Maritim.

 

I finally found time to collect my thoughts, and it was still only 4 pm...

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