This June is the first step with the launch of Global PowerShift. Bringing together hundreds of young organizers from climate justice movements from all corners of the world to Istanbul, Global PowerShift is the first stage in a plan to launch the youth climate movement like never before.
Developed countries, when they put 30 per cent emissions reductions or less on the table are effectively putting death, displacement and devastation on the table. To call current targets enough, is to effectively announce that on this planet there are acceptable losses in those regions least responsible for causing climate change.
People are connecting the dots between extreme weather, droughts and famine, desertification, deforestation, rising sea levels, flooding, wildfires, and a range of devastating impacts the result of a changed climate. They are connecting these dots to a history of the fossil fuel industry and wealthy, developed nations having free reign pollute.
As young people, we write today with both grave concern and powerful hope. Unfortunately, our concerns are beginning to outweigh our hope more and more each day. We were raised in a world nearly 1 degree warmer than the pre-industrial average; where disruption of the climate system has become increasingly visible in the few years since we were young children.
The environmental movement has placed an unjustified -- almost frighteningly so -- amount of faith in this June's upcoming Rio +20 conference. This is blind faith, and dangerous for the cause. It is only when we realize that we do not need Rio or the UN to solve climate change that international progress may become possible.