International youth stage sit-in at UN conference centre
Update 2:15am Copenhagen time - the youth are now being escorted outside the building without incident. The sit-in is officially over.
Update 11:28pm Copenhagen time - after more than seven hours several
youth are still inside the conference centre. US Senator
John Kerry came over and congratulated and shook hands with all the youth, saying that he
supported them in their action.
Update 10:15pm Copenhagen time - Dessima Williams, chairperson of the AOSIS (alliance of small-island states), came up to the youth and told a story of how 14 years ago she sat in the same centre for 8 days to urge military funding to move towards women focused development.
At around 5pm during the high-level segment of this year's international climate change negotiations, a group of approximately 30 international youth are staging a sit-in.Amongst the group mixed with youth from developed and developing countries, there are 10 Canadians.
"Canada, along with many other rich nations, has played an obstructive role here in Copenhagen. Despite this, Presidents and Prime Ministers still have a chance to make the necessary commitments to keeping global warming as far below a 2 degree increase as possible in a legally binding, ambitious, and equitable way," said action participant Alex Doukas from Calgary, Alberta in a press release. "Canadians are disappointed that our minority government has failed to play a constructive role in these negotiations that determine our future, and they have failed to represent the vast majority of Canadians who want stronger action on climate change."
The youth are refusing to leave the centre tonight until a fair, ambitious and legally binding treaty is reached.