COP16: 16 Journeys from 16 Countries in 16 Weeks – Can I Count You In?

Last year, as Christmas came around, there was a powerful groundswell around climate change, culminating in the COP15 conference in Copenhagen (COP15 stands for the 15th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change). You may remember I was quite excited about “Hopenhagen” and the crowd sourced ambassador program put together by the Huffington Post. But it all felt too rushed. There was not enough time to build momentum outside the web world – we needed businesses on our side, governments to commit and we needed a grass roots, community activation plan that no one could ignore.

Despite the noise generated by Copenhagen, it was clear that the agreements not to agree, had been hammered out well beforehand. The groundswell arrived too late. It was all noise but no movement.

So I want to start early this year. COP16, to be held in Mexico in December, is the next global rallying point. But to make this successful, we need to do a lot more preparation in the lead up. And that means STARTING NOW.

What I am proposing is this …

COP16 – 16 Journeys from 16 Countries in 16 Weeks

I am looking for teams of participants in 16 countries. These teams will travel from their country of origin to Mexico, but they will do so over 16 weeks. They will travel where possible using sustainable technologies – electric or diesel cars, trains, boats, gliders – whatever comes to hand. The teams may hand off to others relay-style or stay the course from beginning to end.

Their task is not just to ARRIVE, but to EDUCATE, HARNESS and MOTIVATE people along the way. The aim is to create awareness and build a movement, town by town, truck stop by truck stop.

But this is not just about people. It’s also about business. We’ll be asking those sustainable businesses around the world how they can help. Who can provide the cars, the support, the transport, the logistics and the planning? Who can help us bridge the world’s oceans? Who can demonstrate their business innovation and global leadership by helping us achieve these aims?

And, of course, this is about stories. About the real stories of people touched already by climate change. It’s about the future stories of generations – that these teams can begin to also tell.

But this is also about YOU. These are only beginning ideas. I need you to rally around. Share your thoughts and best ideas. I need you to think about your NETWORKS – about who you know and how they can help. Share this idea – build on it – and let’s make sure that COP16 is not a cop-out.

Just don’t be silent!

Climate Change? It’s Child’s Play

I have always been interested in action. If I see a problem, my mind automatically switches to potential solutions. I immediately begin to think through the steps needed to identify a way forward – how to position and frame the challenge, who to involve and how to build momentum. But maybe I am overthinking climate change – and the case for hope and need for action.

Perhaps the solutions to climate change are far more simple than we think. Dylan seems to agree.

Via Brand Republ

The Case for Hope and the Need for Action

Hopenhagen solbadningIn a little over two weeks, the world’s leaders will be meeting in Copenhagen to discuss and hopefully agree on decisions to reduce carbon emissions. The United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP15) is perhaps the last chance to achieve consensus on this contentious issue.

Why should you care?

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the carbon emissions for all countries must (not will) peak no later than 2015. These emissions then must reduce by 80% or more by 2050 if we are to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

Sounds bad, right? Sounds difficult, yes?

The thing is, we are being asked to make decisions – or rather – we are asking/pushing our leaders to make decisions on our behalf. But these decisions won’t just change our lives – they will have far reaching impacts on our children and grandchildren. How important are your children to you? What kind of world do you want to see them live in?

5 May 8 - Sprinkler 5I don’t know about you, but one of the most joyous memories I have from childhood is running through a sprinkler with my brother on the hot days of summer. These simple, common activities bond us as families and communities – they signify where you grew up – where you belong. And I have a feeling that losing these things will profoundly affect the way that we see ourselves as a society.

Already, the world I live in looks vastly different to the one I grew up in – and the opportunities and experiences I had may simply not be available to future generations.

Is this a big deal for business?

One of the biggest challenges for business is not necessarily the costs involved with climate change – it is the uncertainty. As James Farrar points out, “Most business leaders already understand that CO2 emissions are a significant risk to the sustainability of their business but they lack the regulatory certainty and incentives necessary to begin to deal with the problem.” Once these frameworks and incentives are in place, business leaders will be able to focus on the programs of change, innovation and investment that will put them at the forefront of their industries.

What? You're a climate change skeptic?

I am not asking you to change your beliefs. I know all the facts in the world won’t change your position. I am just asking you what are you prepared to risk? What is the risk of inaction?

What can you do?

You can start by registering your petition with the Hopenhagen website – calling on global leaders to “seal the deal”. There are Facebook applications, blog posts, T-shirts and so on – all available from the Hopenhagen website.

Of course, there is more. There is always more that we can do. The important thing is to start.