I am writing in the midst of a dramatic shift in global climate policy. The official President’s Summary of COP-14 bears witness to this shift and signals the guiding principle of a just and equitable post-2012 climate agreement next year in Copenhagen. And this outcome is due in large part to the work of young people. Over the past 48 hours, youth from around the world have been instrumental in changing the terms of the debate around climate change by refocusing the international community around a unifying concept:
Survival strikes to the very core of humanity. It is the most basic and powerful of all human needs, a precondition for literally any further evaluation in anthropocentric terms. And, perhaps because it is the foundation upon which any debate around climate can occur, it has been entirely left out of the discussion.
In the last few days international youth have gotten over 80 countries have signed a pledge promising to “safeguard the survival of all countries and peoples.” The United States was notably absent from industrialized countries signing on.
In turning discount rates upon their head, Sir ... Read more