No wonder the environment is losing

The worldThere’s been much lamenting across the media about the apparent failure of the Copenhagen Summit last month. Yet in reading today’s headlines, it really couldn’t have ended any other way.

Take for instance the following: Continue reading

Copenhagen Summit severely limits NGO participation

World on Fire 2With the eyes of the world on Copenhagen and the U.N. Climate Change Conference, it seems that organizers will be limiting who can get inside during the last most critical decision-making sessions. While 45,000 people are registered, today and tomorrow only 7,000 civilian observers will be allowed entrance, with those numbers reduced to 1,000 on Thursday and a mere 90 allowed in the conference center by Friday, the day of final negotiations. Continue reading

One child's voice speaks out to Copenhagen

A 12-year old addresses the world

A 12-year old addresses the world

As delegates from 192 nations around the world begin meetings in Copenhagen today, they would do well to remember the words of a child.In 1992, then 12-year old Severen Suzuki of the Environmental Organization (ECO) of Canada addressed the delegates of the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro.

 

In a passionate speech, she presented an indictment and plea to the assembled delegates to remember why they were there.

Suzuki reminded them that in school, their children learned  to share, to clean up their messes, to work with others. She asked them why these were things they weren’t doing themselves. She painted a picture of a world where she was afraid of breathing the air, of drinking the water, of fishing with her father because the fish now had cancers.  

 

Ms. Suzuki today

Ms. Suzuki today

This young girl was eloquent and spoke in a way that left no room for misunderstanding. Delegates must act NOW. 

 

That was  17 years ago. Since then, more species have grown extinct while others are severely threatened. CO2 emissions have grown while Arctic ice shelves are crumbling and glaciers are rapidly disappearing.

With so many reports that the Copenhagen Summit won’t reach a binding agreement, the voice of this child – now a young woman – needs to be raised again in hopes that world leaders this time will pay attention, set aside agendas and biases, and ACT.