Hey! It’s Melanie again with my last post on COP15, the United Nations climate change conference. I’m now writing from a very snowy NYC. I was sad to go, but had to get back for a busy week before holiday break. We shot our latest PSA for Teens for Jeans, our campaign with Aéropostale to help homeless youth. Ashley Greene and Justin Long rocked it! Did you know 1 in 3 homeless people in the US is under 18?? Last year teens nationwide collected over 200,000 pairs of jeans for them. Check out TeensForJeans.com to learn more and get involved. To find out how COP15 wrapped up and whether or not we have new climate change laws, read on after the jump!
But, busy schmizzy! I want to make sure you guys have the scoop on what came out of two weeks of negotiations, protests, speeches, marches, bicycles and cookies (see my posts below)! The last few days of the conference were intense with negotiations going late into the night. Our very own President Obama showed up for the final day.
We ended up with something called the “Copenhagen Accord”. The 3 page document is not legally binding but it lays out a few (kinda lame) pledges to cut CO2 emissions. The US and developed nations will create a fund to support poor countries with $100 Billion a year starting in 2020. That amount of money kind of blows my mind, but it’s actually a lot less than most people think is necessary. The cherry on top is that they didn’t actually adopt the Accord, they “took note” of it.
But, before we start calling it COPout15, I’ll tell you why I’m a little bit disappointed, but way more hopeful. Worldwide, more than 100,000 people came together for a common positive goal. They organized an international day of action, a hunger strike for climate justice (no cookies for them), candlelight vigils, public art exhibits, and delegations of hundreds of passionate people to actually join in the negotiations. So much of this wave of inspired action was led by young people.
It’s not all about the words that some fancy-pants put on a piece of paper. It’s about the tens of thousands of people that I marched with, the organizations like 350.org, Alliance for Climate Education, and tcktcktck that I joined at the Bella Center, and the dozen environmental rock stars that I sang karaoke with on my last night. Hope isn’t lost unless you decide to lose hope. Failure only happens when you give up. They won’t. Will you?
Why not start with your school? Thanks to HP and the National Grid Foundation, we’re launching the Increase Your Green (IYG) competition this February. IYG will mobilize thousands of teens to take action to green their schools. You can be part of the movement to stop climate change and maybe win some sweet prizes. Check out www.increaseyourgreen.org to sign up and find out more.
Have a Green Christmas J