Saturday is a negotiating day at COP 18 but for activists today was all about taking their message on the urgency of climate change and their frustration over the failure of our leaders right to the public. It was literally an historic day in Qatar as a peaceful march of approximately 700 people led by Arab Youth and joined by global citizens made its way up Doha’s Al Cornish Street with banners and shouting their demands. Never before has a protest been permitted in modern day Qatar and it was so incredibly inspiring to see Arab Youth march behind the banner“Arabs, take the lead”.
The Arab Youth Climate Movement met only for the first time in September and is now 1,000 members strong in 15 Arab countries. The young Arab Observers are meeting with their delegations and demanding that they put mitigation pledges forward in the UNFCCC.
U.S. NGOs, labour business and youth representatives turned up the heat on President Obama and his team in Doha yesterday with a positive but tough message for the President that they expect much more positive engagement than has been evident of late. Groups outlined the steps the President can take by using Executive Authority to infuse momentum into the Doha round of global climate change talks. Labour and youth reps at the press conference made it pretty clear their constituency back the President in his bid for a second term and now they expect him to turn words into a #climatelegacy.
This morning TckTckTck was happy to welcome approximately ten Climate Change Media Partnership fellows to Doha to cover the climate talks. With support from the GCCA, the International Institute for Environment and Development, Earth Journalism Network and Panos have brought these journalists to Doha to enable them to cover the climate negotiations. The journalists come from a variety of countries throughout the Middle East, as well as North and Sub-Saharan Africa. TckTckTck provided this morning’s attendees with a brief update on the talks and a short preview of the coming week. Then they piled into several taxis and raced over to cover today’s historic climate march in Doha.
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About the AuthorKarl Burkart is the Digital Communications Director for the GCCA, the Global Call for Climate Action, and TckTckTck, a network of 400+ diverse organizations working around the world for greater action on the growing problem of climate change. Karl also blogs on technology and the environment for a variety of publications. You can follow him on Twitter @greendig.
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