Young Americans ask Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel and President Barack Obama for strong action on Climate Policy at the G8 and Copenhagen summit
** Youth to rally again outside White House, 8:00 AM on Friday 6/26, as Merkel meets with Obama **
Climate action leaders dance with gigantic green hard hats, as well as cut-outs of Obama and Merkel, to urge the heads of state to take stronger action on climate change and support good, green jobs. (Photo by Julie Erickson.)
Washington DC – American youth holding gigantic green hard hats and signs danced in front of the German Embassy today in order to advocate for aggressive international climate policy. Several of them held a huge banner that read “Americans Want Under 1.5 Degrees and Green Jobs.” They dance to encourage Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel and President Barack Obama to set the international limit on global temperature increase to 1.5 ˚C and support good, green jobs.
As the youth demonstrated at the Embassy, Merkel was preparing to meet with Obama on Friday. The two had planned on discussing the upcoming G8 summit as well as climate change issues.
“The decisions that Obama and Merkel make are going to significantly impact the state of the world that I grow up in. The youth will bear the brunt of the impacts of climate change,” says one of the dancing hard hats, Matthew Maiorana. “Our leaders need to set bold targets that show the world that the United States and Germany are ready to be climate leaders. We also call on them to commit to attending the important Copenhagen summit on climate change and adhere to a science-based climate policy.”
The youth assembled today with 11 larger-than-life cardboard green hard hats and cut outs of Obama and Merkel’s faces. Hoisting their hard hats, they participated in a choreographed dance with visages of Obama and Merkel. A huge banner that read “Americans Want Under 1.5 Degrees and Green Jobs” provided a backdrop for the festivities.
Their dance, they said, shows what America’s youth want for their future. It represents the connection between solutions to climate change and good, green jobs to lift America out of its current economic crisis. The youth also called for a global temperature increase limit to be set at 1.5˚C, a position supported by Merkel. If the temperature rises above this mark, tropical island states like the Marshall Islands and the Maldives will be under water.
America's youth dance to show what America's youth want for their future. The dance represents the connection between solutions to climate change and good, green jobs to lift America out of its current economic crisis. (Photo by Julie Erickson.)
“The G8 is an opportunity for heads of states to discuss the issues that are most pressing in our world,” said Rachel Young, a young American present at the event. “They are charged with ensuring that we are meeting the needs of all the countries, including the demands from small island states, who are calling for a temperature rise limit of 1.5 ˚C.”
America and Germany have the incredible opportunity to usher in a new era of clean energy economies, which starts with committing to a target of temperature stabilization of below 1.5˚C, and creating green jobs for all.
Today’s actions accompany a dramatic increase in grassroots mobilization around the up and coming floor vote, the American Clean and Energy Security Act of 2009 HR 2454. Which will lay the foundation for America’s stance in the upcoming international climate negotiations in Copenhagen.
The youth were working with Avaaz.org an international advocacy organization of 3.5 million members worldwide and 200,000 members in Germany. They are planning a second event for Friday at 11 AM at the White House.