Transition Stroud

This is a shared history blog. Together we can write the history of our process of transition as it happens.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Help Issy get to Copenhagen

Here is a post I put on Ruscombe Green and folk have asked if it can go on this site as well - so here it is with some slight changes.....

Today's blog action day - Issy Ellis-Cockcroft, 18 (see photo below) from Stroud who recently spoke at our Transition Stroud AGM, is trying to raise enough money to be one of 21 young people traveling to the Copenhagen Climate Conference 2009 as part of the UK Youth Delegation, on behalf of the UKYCC (UK Youth Climate Coalition).

Issy's letter is below but I should also mention that Stroud Greens were out on the street last weekend (see photo below) helping to increase the pressure on our government to negotiate for an ambitious, fair and binding climate deal in Copenhagen. Greens had a petition which Issy will take and present to the UK negotiators in Copenhagen. Here's stuff from the leaflet they were using:

copenhagen-petition-stallUrgent decisions need to be made at the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit in December that will affect not only us here in Stroud, but much more acutely many of the world's poorest people and the very life support systems of our planet.

Increasing the pressure on our government will help them negotiating for an ambitious, fair and binding climate deal in Copenhagen.

We can all do things in the next few weeks that will help make a difference:

  1. Gloucester Climate Change March and Lobby of MPs and MEP – Sat 17th Oct 11.30-12.30 Gloucester – starting at Council Offices and going to the Cross. find out more...
  2. Donate to support the UK Youth Delegation and the Kenyan Youth Delegation who are attending the conference to give voice to the world's young people and generations to come. Stroud teenager Issy Ellis-Cockcroft is part of the UK delegation – find out how to support them on her blog at www.livingonsunshine.org.uk
  3. Sign the Stroud-Copenhagen petition which Issy will take to Copenhagen – and get your family, neighbours and work colleagues to sign too. Download a copy for use at your school, club or social group: click here to download the Copenhagen Petition - please return to John Marjoram (address on the petition) by December 1st.
  4. Support Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Milliband on his pledge to fight for a “climate deal that's ambitious, effective and fair”. www.edspledge.com
  5. Keep the pressure on Gordon Brown for an ambitious global climate deal by signing to “Back the Bid” at www.actoncopenhagen.gov.uk
  6. Support www.350.org international day of action on October 24th and other campaigns for on this issue – see www.tcktcktck.org
  7. Get stuck in to a carbon reduction of 10% during 2010 – join Stroud District Council, your Green Party District Councillors and many more individuals, businesses and organisations who have already taken the 10:10 pledge – www.1010uk.org
  8. Join the National Climate Demo in London on 5th Decwww.stopclimatechaos.org
    Watch out for information about coaches from Stroud to London for this big demo on the eve of the Copenhagen Conference.
Here's Issy's letter:

If a global deal on climate change is to be in place by 2012 when the Kyoto protocol expires, it must be agreed in Copenhagen, otherwise it will not be ratified in time.

Why is a global deal so important? I’m sure many of you have your own answers to this. My answer is that with each passing year the fact that climate change is not a future possibility but a present reality becomes clearer. From the millions now facing starvation in East Africa to the 22,000 who died in Europe in the 2003 heatwave. And every time, events are shown to be moving faster and happening sooner than the science expected.

The prediction for ice-free Arctic summers has fallen from 2080, to 2050, to 2013. I had the chance to visit the High Arctic in July 2007, as sea-ice coverage hit a record low. I stood on the edge of the polar ice-cap and watched the rain. This shouldn’t happen; it’s like seeing snow in the desert. All of human history has taken place during a phase of relative climate stability. We have never experienced the kind of changes we are setting in motion, yet we play with fire as if we can’t get burnt.

Under Agenda 21 the UN must involve young people in decisions that will affect their future as part of “intergenerational equity”. As a delegation we therefore have seats at the Copenhagen Conference and can speak in the Plenary Hall in front of hundreds of world leaders and decision makers. So if we can get to Copenhagen, we can make ourselves heard. But to get there we need to raise £1500 each to cover travel, accommodation and food. And perhaps more important than getting ourselves there, we also need to raise enough to fund the Kenyan Youth Delegation to get to the conference. Without our help they will not be able to attend. For the Kenyan Delegation climate change is now a daily reality. As they described in their last email to us “over 10 million Kenyans are presently starving as drought continues to ravage virtually every corner of our nation.” Global warming is a global problem; it therefore requires a global solution. But this will not be achieved in an equitable way, if at all, without the strong presence of developing nations.

Between now and December we will all be working hard to spread the message, in our local community and across the UK, that we have to act now to call for a global agreement that will deliver what the science demands. It is 17 years since the Earth Summit in Rio. After 17 years of UNFCCC conferences, endless discussions, and empty promises to cut emissions we have finally run out of time. It has to be now because we won’t get another shot.

On Mon 7th of Sept 10 of us from the UKYCC delegation met with some of the UK’s core team of UN negotiators at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). They spoke about how the actions of UKYCC delegations at previous climate conferences had made a dramatic impact and really served to remind decision makers that this is not just another conference to get through before Christmas, or a stepping-stone in their career. But that the lives and livelihoods of billions of peoples hang on these decisions.

One of UKYCC’s most powerful questions at previous conferences was “How old will you be in 2050?” I will be 59. Most negotiators won’t have to see the state of the world in 2050. Help us raise the funds to get to Copenhagen so that when our futures are on the line, we can remind decision makers that we all have to live in this world and whatever state they leave it in, they are leaving it to us.

And to donate please go to http://act.ukycc.org/copenhagen
Or post a cheque, made out to ‘UK Youth Climate Coalition', to 4 Modbury Gardens, London, NW5 3QE. Please include a note saying you are donating on my behalf. All donations will be split between the UK and Kenyan Delegations.

Find out more and support the Youth Delegation on her blog.