UKYCC is 5 years old this year. Celebrate with us.
Do you wonder where we have been, what we have done and what the future could hold for us?
Looking at our history, it is inspiring to see how we have grown and the various things we have done in only 5 years. It is good to know that young people within the UK are continuing to act for clean fair future for all.
Emma Biermann and Casper Ter Kuile, two students from Warwick University, were selected and joined other young people on WWF’s Voyage to the Arctic, where they learnt about climate change and heard some exciting projects…
“The UK Youth Climate Coalition was born out of inspirational stories of other young people from all over the world who were taking the issue of climate change by the horns, and with their energy, creativity and passion, making it into an opportunity you couldn’t resist. Of course we were won over and we wanted to do the same here in the UK”
What followed, were meredays when the UKYCC was actually just made up of 2 people.
However, the idea was infectious and other young people and organisations could not stop themselves from signing up and start to create waves in the UK climate movement scene.
With the help of Otesha Project, 15 young people from around the UK headed to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 14th conference (COP18) in Pozan, Poland – The UKYCC had arrived on the international scene! – More info.
Before we knew it – it grew into its own campaign involving hundreds of photos and cool looking T-shirts at the UNFCCC Intersessional in Bonn and at COP15.
- Think 2050 speech in Bonn
Between the 9th-12th October 2009 UKYCC put on the UK’s most ambitious youth climate change summit. Bringing together people from all over the UK, from different backgrounds, with different interests and with varying levels of previous engagement, PowerShift ’09 aimed to equip and empower young people to act on climate change in their local area.
It involved 350 youth learning public narrative and campaign skills, plus led to this funky flashmob.
350.org Day of Action
CNN called it, “the most widespread day of political action in our planet’s history.” and we were part of it. The delegation to COP15, went to the Angel of the North to create amazing photos.
COP15 was built up to be the big one, many can remember it being all over the TV news, newspapers and social media feeds. For those that went, it was an experience like no other.
Building on last years delegation, UKYCC trained and helped 20 inspiring youth attend the conference. When there, all of them got stuck into civil society campaigns, policy ‘wonking’ and marches through Copenhagen.
The biggest hits, were the videos created by Adam Tyler – and the reason for why they were big hits and still viewed by new people today, is that the truly show the feelings of young people involved in climate change campaigning.
The World Wants A Real Deal
Taken place halfway through COP15 TckTckTck’s day of action aimed to push world leaders to act. UKYCC got to work on leading the UK action, with only 4 days until the deadline!
We went on the streets to carry on the ‘how old will you be in 2050 message, we flash danced outside Parliament, we held a torch light vigil, and most amazing of all, we projected a logo right onto the Houses of Parliament for 15 minutes, before the lovely police turned up.
COP15′s outcome can be described as a hangover for climate change activists. It was hard for many to get back into the swing of things; but at UKYCC we decided to plough on through with more projects then ever. Which was no easy task..
Open House Series
A series of talks, discussions and workshops took place around the UK (London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Cornwall, Brighton), giving young people an opportunity to discuss things like nuclear power, local engagement and the UN climate talks; whilst also being able to meet other active youth, join the UKYCC team and at one special event meet inspiring climate activist from Brazil.
Adopt an MP
To keep climate change at the top of the UK political agenda, we set off to make every MP (all 650 of them) become adopted by a young person; who would check in with them to see if they are doing what is needed for our future.
This idea followed on from the success of the UNFCCC Adopt an Negotiator initiative, and was launched with a picnic right beside parliament. By the end of the year only 20 MPs were adopted.
Bank on the Future
Connected to actions on Tar Sands, UKYCC made a video showing how our money is used within banks to support unethical projects like Tar Sands; and that just by moving our money to ethical banks we are making a major difference.
This was a major idea, which we were unable to continue as it covered more then just climate change issues – but it did catch the attention of a few people who set up the very successful Move Your Money campaign.
DECC Youth Advisory Panel
Following on youths actions at the UN climate talks and DECC’s interest in the voice of young people.
A Youth Advisory Panel was set up, and led by one of its past UKYCC team members (Kristy Schneeberger)
It was the task of this panel of 20 young people, to travel around the UK and look into currently used energy sources and what is on the horizon; to create a report entitled Energy: How fair is it anyway?
Sadly the Youth Advsiory panel was discontinued within 2011; however it now relives as a separate identity called
the Independent Youth Committee on Climate Change.
Basically, by placing the UK’s environmental resources (clean water, clean air, access to green and open space) in a trust, we place it under the Guardianship of the government for use by future generations when they are old enough to do so.
Of course the idea and project of EnTrust was much more complicated then its simple description. It involved EU law, Trustee’s, PLC’s, LTD’s, UK law, policy-wonking, lobbying, coalition partners and a team within the UKYCC.
By the end of the year it was decided the project will be put on the back-burner until a later date.
Trying to follow on from the excitement and media drama of COP15 was not going to be easy, but this years UK Youth Delegation went further then ever before to get stuck into policy wonking and making a difference.
This tale, actually starting in May in Bonn Germany, where youth found out that countries were trying to hid their carbon emissions and were not putting a big emphasis on education.
By the end of COP16 in Cancun, Mexico. The ability for carbon emissions to be hidden was being resolved, education on climate change was truly on the map and we created our most successful video every with over 14,000 views.
Other highlights included growing the team growing to 70 young people, becoming an accredited organisation at the UN, being part of a new citizenship textbook that launched with 10,000 copies and training over 250 European youth on Ganz public narrative.
In 2011 we wanted to raise the voice of youth on a national, European and international scale. Carrying on from the lessons learnt in the previous year’s and trying to do stuff we have never done before.
PowerShift Europe/ Push Europe
In early Spring Alex Farrow, Emma Biermann and Andy Hix started an adventure across Europe (UK, Sweden, Poland, Ukraine, Hungary, Serbia, Czech Republic, Austria, Italy, Spain, Germany and France) to build up the European Youth Movement.
Not only were they aiming to train fellow EU youth in how to host PowerShift events, they were also gathering youth together for climate action (Push Europe) at the UNFCCC intersessional and beyond.
Following on from the success of the 2011 CV and 1cent campaigns, plus Durban in Brussels – Push Europe became its own international organisation. http://pusheurope.eu and it has currently set its sites on COP19 which will be taken place in Poland late 2013.
It had been 2 years since COP15 and it was high time to invigorate a new crowd of youth climate change activists. The stage was set for 1000s of young people to join us for a weekend in Manchester, where we would train each other on public narrative, advocacy skills and team building + have a little bit of fun.
However, with 2 weeks to go. It was decided to be cancelled due to lack of participants.
What followed was a reflection period which taught us a lot of lessons.
TED talks are amazing. Not only do they give the viewer a new way of thinking, they also are a great platform for raising issues and ideas.
It involved 8 speakers, a packed out room by the London Zoo, camera crew and hundreds of other TEDx events around the world.
The UK youth delegation for this years COP17 in South Africa were a dedicated bunch, getting involved with the Robin Hood Tax campaign, policy wonking and the Kyoto Protocol.
The I <3 KP T-shirts became big hits with other youth, organisations and negotiators; plus we occupied the conference center with hundreds of others on the last day of the talks.
Durban in Brussels
Following on from the efforts of Powershift Europe, Push Europe and are European Youth Delegations at COP17, we joined dozens of other European Youth in Brussels during COP17 in Durban to take part in workshops and create climate change actions within the heart of the European Union.
After two years of doing several different projects, campaigns and initiatives with some being successful and many falling by the wayside. It was time to take a great step back to look at everything and to asses how we were to move forward.
We found that the things that made UKYCC great were movement building, facilitation, having a strong coalition and giving young people the opportunity of becoming a youth delegate at a COP.
So we scaled down all of our projects, meaning that we also had an internal restructure and a refocus on how we would outreach in the UK/internationally and connect with coalition partners, organisations and campaigns.
Youth for Green Jobs
Launched during a jobs rally in March 2012, the Youth for Green Jobs campaign aims to solve the youth unemployment issue, rescue the economy and sort out climate change all in one.
Right now, you can email your MP to get them to act on green jobs within the current Energy Bill. Alternatively we will soon be launching our green jobs workshop, so young people can find out more about the issue and how they can act.
The Catalysts programme supports individuals to become leaders in climate change through local community action. It offers training, resources and ongoing support as they participate in the blossoming local level, youth climate movement in whatever way is most appropriate in their community. Our Catalysts include people in education (secondary school and university), people in and out of work, those already active in the sector and for those whom this is their first foray into activism. Our support is therefore very personal – we try to have one-to-one calls with each Catalyst once a fortnight as well as a team call every week.
To strengthen our relationship with coalition partners and the young people who work and volunteer within them. A share programme has been set up, to help us all share skills, knowledge, thoughts, issues and ideas to collectively strengthen all of our work.
COP18 took place in Doha, Qatar; a strange place to old climate change talks as oil is cheaper then water within the region. This did not stop the UK youth delegation from getting involved with actions, lobbying and policy-wonking; whilst also strengthen our ties with international youth, the Robin Hood tax campaign and the Kyoto Protocol.
Videos, audio, blogs and photos from COP18 can be found on our special COP18 Hotspot
Qatar in Brussels
Carrying on from last years European work, UKYCC headed back to Brussels during COP18 to facilitate and take part in workshops and to take action on the door steps of the EU. http://www.qatar-in-brussels.org/
With Poland, being the next country to host a COP, much talk went towards figuring out how we can work together this year. One idea is a climate caravan heading from UK/Brussels all the way to Warsaw – So watch this space.
You can also read the 2010 annual review or check out our Facebook Timeline.