Qatar in Brussels 1st – 8th December 2012

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Van 1 tot en met 8 december kwam een grote groep ecologisch bewuste jongeren samen in Brussel, de aanleiding ervoor was de klimaatconferentie in Doha, Qatar. We gingen een aantal van hen interviewen, klimaatactivisten afkomstig uit Londen, Berlijn en 1 uit eigen land (maar voorheen actief in Turkije). Dat leverde een aantal interessante gesprekken op…

Beluister hier deel 2: Nick uit London praat over de UK Youth Climate Coalition

interview by Rafa Grinfeld

Young activists from all over Europe came together for ‘Qatar in Brussels’ during the second week of the UN climate talks in Doha, Qatar.
Qatar in Brussels was being organised by Young Friends of the Earth Europe in partnership with other youth and organisations in Europe, as an open event to build the youth climate justice movement in Brussels.

An open space for the climate movement

At ‘Qatar in Brussels’ over 100 young people were expected to “come together to form an open space, where individuals and organisations from the climate justice movement work and take action together”.
And to:
• follow the negotiations as they unfolded in Doha, Qatar
• link up with activists and civil society in Doha
• share skills and learn about climate justice
• act in solidarity
• and put pressure on government delegations and institutions without having to travel all the way to Qatar.

Their ideas about climate justice

“Our call for climate justice goes far beyond the scope of the official UN summit! Independent of the results the UN climate talks could achieve, we believe it’s time to increase our own capacities and to trust in our own strength to build a strong and diverse climate justice movement from the bottom up.
Rich developed countries in the Global North have historical responsibility for causing climate change and millions in developing countries, in the Global South, are already suffering from its devastating impacts. If developed countries fail to act in line with science and equity, developing countries will be the hardest hit by climate change, with catastrophic consequences for something they are the least responsible for.
We want to take out this message and stress the solidarity between those struggling for climate justice both in the Global North and South through making our programme to be open and inclusive, with a well balanced mix of activities.
We will create a forum for actions, workshops, skill sharing space and discussions that deal with a broad range of issues.”

What was going on at Qatar in Brussels? The discussions touched upon topics like:

• false solutions to the climate crisis
• the link between environmental and social justice struggles
• the inter-dependencies and historic legacies between the Global North and South
• the EU’s role on the climate negotiations
• the importance of the Common Agriculture Policy and ways to campaign around it
• discussion about the limits to the current ‘growth-led’ thinking and alternative economics
Skill share sessions were about things like:
• facilitating meetings and discussions
• consensus-based decision making in large groups
• press and media training
• non-violent direct action training
• blogging for change,social media in campaigning
• value campaigning

There was also space for creative ideas, arts and crafts – like banner making, theatre workshop and music.