Saturday, 11 December 2010

Youths mark 21,000 deaths with count

By Stanley Simpson, Climate Pasifika Media

Photos courtesy of Luana Bosanquet-Heays
 10 December, Cancun Mexico - Youths from all over the world – who have gathered in Cancun to push for action on climate change– have made a symbolic count from 1 to 21,000 to mark what they say are the 21,000 climate related deaths in 2010.

Holding banners that read ‘1.5 to stay alive’, ’21,000 climate related deaths in 2010’, and ‘Justice delayed is justice denied’ youths linked arms and counted outside while country delegations negotiated and pored over the final text inside.

The counting – which is expected to take a few hours to complete - was intermingled with short statements – that allowed them to take a breather.

Photos courtesy of Luana Bosanquet-Heays

Young people from the Pacific involved in the count were Luana from the Cook Islands and Romina from Fiji.

“Right now I am angry – because there is no legally binding agreement so far,” says Romina Datt.

“The leaders are not stepping up to save us.”

“We are really wanting our leaders to take up action because so far there is nothing – they have made no commitments for us – and zero emissions have been cut out – and on the 1.5 degrees it was announced last week that it will be postponed to next year – so we are counting on that.”

Datt and other youth activists expressed disappointment that countries like Japan and the US were opting out of a legally binding agreement.

“The US and other rich countries don’t demand for the ‘best science’ when they allow corporations to drill for oil and conduct mining, yet they are demanding for the best science on climate change in order to take action. We already have the best science,” a youth rep said.

As this story was sent – the count continued with the youths reaching the 6,000 mark.

(Note: the protest could not continue, security had to remove the protestors from the conference grounds as the time they had on their permission form had lapsed)

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