On 1st and 2nd July 2015, while hiking on the Fury Road to COP21, CliMates’ team decided to stop by at the World Summit for Climate and Territories (WSCT) in Lyon, France. Having supported for many years the necessity to accelerate the collaboration between local authorities and non-state actors such as youth NGOs, it looked like stepping into this international meeting was both an opportunity for us to spread our message and to challenge our conception of fighting climate change.
An unnamed CliMates’ official walking down from La Fourvière.
Looking for the notorious “Green Place” they have been searching for so many years, these young people went from one traveler to another, asking everyone about what way we should take for finding a better future. Some says they even found an old radio, still broadcasting to silent listeners scattered around the devastated continents, and carried the message that there were still people hoping to find solutions and that they wouldn’t let the world going adrift. This is why they took the lead of the meeting on education and awareness: they believed that we could change things by spreading knowledge on climate change and sharing practical solutions on mitigation and adaptation.
CliMates’ Big Shot climbed on a table to harangue the crowd and gather more people in our quest for sustainability. Shaking a red scarf as a leading flag, she sticked up posters on the wall of the room so every passing traveler could hear and read about the youth convoy towards greener tomorrows. It was already time again to go back on the Fury Road and to act on our side but the message has gone through the rank. Future meetings have been planned and new partners have been encountered. The WSCT had definitely been an important milestone on the road to COP21 by connecting local actors sharing common interest in fighting climate change.
For sure, if we don’t act now, if we don’t diverge our road far away from Gas Town, we can only expect to continue our travel through the waste lands of the forecoming decades. The international climate negotiations are an important stage of the ecological transformation of our societies but the most practical transition will take place at a local level, involving local and regional public and private actors. It is our role as youth representatives to support such an initiative and to help ending the tyrannical reign of Immortan “Fossil Fuels” Joe.