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Copenhagen to CancĂșn: Re-imagining Climate Action

Published 29th October 2010 - 0 comments - 861 views -

There has been lots of soul searching since Copenhagen. We have all questioned the direction that climate activism should take. This is the first of a series of posts exploring this challenge.

We’ve been re-evaluating our goals and strategies.

Do we sideline the struggle for a global agreement in favour of more achievable goals?

Do we focus our energies at the National, State or local level?

We’ve been looking for new or different ways of working. Do we make community education and awareness the priority? How do we reach out to a broader audience?

Should we become more involved in mainstream politics through political parties and elections?

Is direct action a better route?

A Hard Road since Copenhagen

Kieran Battles at Be That Change, has explored our common frustrations since Copenhagen:

…every day since 10/10/10 I have asked myself forlornly, ‘If the biggest climate change event in history happens and no one hears about it, does it make a difference?’ And the conclusion I have come to in answer to that question is ‘no’.

…we must inspire and engage with a wider, more mainstream audience if we are to succeed in our aim of a sustainable and more just future.

Like many of us, he is trying to promote discussion of how we “rethink” our future activities:

If something as significant as the planet’s biggest day of political action can’t do this then surely it’s down to us to create the things that will. In recognising that what we’ve done before no longer works, I’m certainly not advocating radicalism in deed, but I am inviting radicalism in thought.
LEND YOUR VOICE: Is it time for the climate change movement to completely rethink our approach?

I found Kieran’s post through tcktcktck’s Climate Insider email group, ‘a simple online community for facilitating connections and rapid response around global climate change content, actions, and movement building.’ It’s by application only but it is an amazing google group.

(Photo courtesy tcktcktck)

Closer to home, the AYCC (Austrlain Youth Climate Coalition) still has hopes for global action:

With 194 UNFCCC members, all with an equal vote, the UN remains the most inclusive and democratic global mechanism we have to fight climate change. Where else can a tiny island nation of Tuvalu make a stand against the most powerful nations on earth? If you think it’s hard to do at the UN, then you’d be right. But at the G20 it’s an impossibility.

(Photo courtesy AYCC)

Naturally AYCC emphasises the importance of young people in energising the struggle:

There are lots of reasons why a truly representative and cohesive global youth movement is needed to fight climate change. Paradoxically, the less we want to rely on the UN process, the more vital a global youth climate movement becomes. The more decentralised the process, the more we need to support and strengthen the work of national youth movements. And we need to use moments like Cancun to tie together the threads, to construct a global web of national action that pulls the world in the right direction.
From Copenhagen to Cancun

Dozens of Th!nk4 posts have addressed these questions. It is the real purpose of the competition: to re-imagine climate action.

PS. Just as I was about to submit this post, I found Lara Smallman’ excellent Th!nk4 article: The Cultural Shift We Cannot Let Slide… which canvasses many of these issues.

More later.

Category: Climate Politics, | Tags:


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