December, 3rd, Katowice’s stadium in Poland. That is not a football match between the main Polish teams, the Wisla Krakow and the Legia Warszawa. It is the match that decides the Planet’s future. The 29.473 squared meters-wide stadium and the surrounding areas host indeed the negotiations of the UN Conference on Climate Change (COP24) held between 2nd and 14th December in one of the countries in the top ten of the coal reserves thanks to which it generates the 80 percent of energy that it consumes. The choice of the hosting country for the COP24 has appeared as a challenge from the very beginning, and maybe also a provocation, given that Poland is a country where millions of European Union’s euro are financing state-owned energy companies that do not intend to abandon dirty energy, responsible for the main greenhouse gas emissions. On the other hand, during the opening ceremony president Andrzej Duda, has affirmed that Poland “is promoting a grounded climate policy” highlighting the Conference’s slogan “Changing Together”. Therefore, it seems that the situation is not a great kickoff for the match that the whole Planet is playing in the next days.
The event will host around 20.000 people including negotiators, diplomats from the 197 signing parties to the Paris Climate Agreement, multinational enterprises’ representatives and observers of the NGOs and social movements coming from all over the world. The task of the delegates would be that of reaching a compromise to be embedded in the so-called “Paris Rulebook” which, among other things, would need to determine a more ambitious process for monitoring each country’s engagement in the fight against climate change. In other words, the rulebook would establish how to effectively verify and evaluate the implementation of the country’s intended nationally determined contributions that needs to urgently start in 2020 to avoid a climate catastrophe.
The working sessions at the Conference are taking place after the scientific community, gathered around the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has published an alarming report at the beginning of October that demands to the international community to take urgent actions for the decrease of the greenhouse emissions in order to maintain the global warming within the 1,5°C increase compared to the pre-industrial period.
The rise in the average temperature, currently estimated to be around 1,1°C, is already responsible for a series of effects on the Planet such as the sea level rise, the increased frequency of extreme weather events and the Arctic, Antarctic and Greenlandish sea ice decline. Several are the climate change impacts on the life of human beings and on the ecosystems, and enormous is the concern for a Planet that, without adequate mitigation actions, is intended to reach +3°C by the end of the century with unimaginable consequences for the whole humanity.
Civil society’s presence in Katowice, and in particular youth participation becomes therefore essential to monitor the processes underway and to push the international political delegations, and firstly Italy, to take concrete and more ambitious responsibilities and achieve a radical shift of the current economic production and consumption model.
Its own contribution towards this direction is given also by a delegation of 20 people including university and high school students as well as researchers from the Trentino region in Italy, who are participating to the COP24 in Katowice thanks to the project “Visto Climatico”. Coordinated by the Association Viração&Jangada, “Visto Climatico” is supported by the Department of Development Cooperation of the Trento Province, the European Centre Jean Monnet, the Association Mazingira (MUSE), the Fontana Foundation, Unimondo, the Association In Medias Re, with the scientific collaboration of the Trentino Observatory on Climate.
The main goal of the delegation from Trentino is that of reporting the events of the Conference with a young and fresh perspective and through articles, pictures and videos as well as sensibilization actions in order to concretely involve several participants from all over the world. In Katowice, the delegation will work together and collaborate internationally with youngsters coming from other European countries and from Latin America.
The group from Trentino will publish its communication products in English, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish on the websites www.youthpressagency.org, www.stampagiovanile.it, agenciajovendenoticias.org and agenciajovem.org as well as on the social media Facebook and Instagram (in Italian and English) @stampagiovanile, but also through other means of communication such as newspapers, radio and magazines both at the local and at international level.