The rise of the youth

In two years of following the negotiations I have come to realise how much they have changed – from an old boys’ club to a movement being driven by the youth.

Last night was the NGO party, traditionally organised for all observer organisations present at the UNFCCC negotiations. The Vega venue was packed to the brim with a young and energetic group. Faces from all corners of the world were presented, and the sexual tension on the dance floor flowed between all cultures and races. Coming from South Africa, which in many ways is still very divided and stressed with tension, this party was a welcoming display of unity.

Furthermore, we were all connected by the climate cause. We all want to “save the future” and get an outcome at Copenhagen – partying our way to it.

Climate Change really entered the mainstream media from 2007 and from my first negotiations in that year there has been a rise in youth attendance. Visually this has come across very strongly with the “tck tck tck” campaign and the presence of Avaaz’s Fossil of the Day awards.

Earlier this morning I also randomly ran into my German cousin at the Copenhagen train station. He had hitchhicked up for the demonstrations. What a welcome encounter.

Lets get the youth on board, it is our future.