Greetings Climate Generation family and friends,
As you read this, I am currently in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, attending the UN climate conference (COP27) as part of Climate Generation’s civil society delegation. If you haven’t yet, please sign up for our Window into COP27 Digests because our delegates are absolutely amazing human beings, and to see COP through their eyes is a privilege.
But as I write this, I am still in Minneapolis, watching closely, following along, reading, and listening to all things COP as I prepare myself (as if that is even possible). I am excited to witness the voices of youth activists. I am aware of the concerns regarding greenwashing, human rights, and the diminished space for civil society at this Egypt-hosted COP27. I am feeling the plight of political and climate activist prisoners. I am holding the jailed Egyptian human rights activist close to my heart, days into a hunger strike. I feel the urgency of young people hoping for a future, and understand frustration at the glacial pace at which negotiations within a consensus decision-making model can take.
I am paying close attention to the loss and damage conversations, because the climate crisis is not some future reality that we still have time to mitigate and adapt to. It is here now. People across the globe — people who are not responsible for the carbon levels — are suffering today because of the lack of action. “Those who contributed least to the climate crisis are reaping the whirlwind sown by others,” said UN Secretary General António Gutteres in his opening remarks. Pakistani representatives have managed to add loss and damage to the official COP27 agenda, yet that agenda does not include discussions of how to determine liability or payments for the harms of human-caused climate change.
These are the questions I hold and hope to see glimpses of answers to while I am in Egypt: how will we overcome all of this dissonance to craft together a non-extractive economy? How will we, together, make a just transition away from fossil fuels and save the only home we have? What does solidarity look like for those of us living in the country most responsible for rising temperatures? Where can we bring joy and celebration to our movement?
These are the questions I hold and hope to see glimpses of answers to while I am in Egypt. As all of these thoughts swirl in my brain and heart, I hope you will continue engaging with us in building a just and abundant world beyond climate crisis.