UN – AEGEE-Europe | European Students' Forum AEGEE (Association des Etats Généraux des Etudiants de l’Europe / European Students’ Forum) is a student organisation that promotes cooperation, communication and integration amongst young people in Europe. As a non-governmental, politically independent, and non-profit organisation AEGEE is open to students and young people from all faculties and disciplines – today it counts 13 000 members, active in close to 200 university cities in 40 European countries, making it the biggest interdisciplinary student association in Europe. Wed, 18 Apr 2018 09:33:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.14 The follow up of the COP in Warsaw /the-follow-up-of-the-cop-in-warsaw/ Tue, 07 Jan 2014 10:33:09 +0000 http://aegee.blogactiv.eu/?p=839 The voice of the youth in at the Climate Change Conference in Warsaw: how serious is the new generation taken in the sustainable development of the world?

From  11th to 22nd of November, the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) gathered in Warsaw for its 19th Conference of the Parties (COP)1. In the capital of Poland the parties attended the Climate Change Conference to discuss and draft an agreement on the way forward to a new global climate deal in 2015. This deal will be implemented in the participating parties from 2020 on, once the second commitment period ends.

It was very surprising the little attention media paid to the COP in Warsaw. I expected more articles in newspapers, interviews and media attention for this climate conference. Perhaps the media thought that the outcome would not be interesting, or decided that people are fed up of bad news that the earth is in danger and do not need any more calls to act now.

The outcomes were not that ambitious indeed; I will just mention the three most important ones. First, the Green Climate Fund (a fund to help developing countries to cope with climate change)  has a board right now, and soon they will fulfill the essential requirements to receive, manage, program, and disburse financial resources.  By 2020 the fund will receive 100 billion US dollars. The 4th of December the fund opened the headquarters in South Korea. Second, the Warsaw Framework REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) program pledges for 280 million dollars from US, Norway and UK. The REDD+ is initiated to stop deforestation and forest degradation on a global scale. Third, the Adaptation Fund, a fund to finance national projects on climate change adaptation, has received money from developed countries.

The outcomes of the Climate Change Conference were quite disappointing for the international youth and environmental and climate justice groups. Thirteen environmental and climate justice groups, Greenpeace, World Wide Fund and Oxfam International included, left the COP before the closing of the conference and made this joined statement: “The Warsaw Climate Conference, which should have been an important step in the just transition to a sustainable future, is on track to deliver virtually nothing.” Especially in the latest months, when you could read and see how many people become a victim of the typhoon at the Philippines, a clear example of climate change, it is necessary to take our responsibility. As an interesting contrast, outside the conference center the lobby for coal industry was taking place. The expression ‘green’ coal is still something hard to understand.

NGOs leaving the COP

The Conference of the Youth took place one week before the COP and it was a preparation for the Climate Change Conference. During the COP the youth organisations and delegates worked together to lobby for action. Also other youth initiatives were taken, such as a climate train departing from Belgium2 with 700 young people in total on board. Overall, the feeling of the youth was that their voice is not heard, or not seriously enough taken, although climate change is something that will develop further in the future and affect us specially.

The next COP will be held in December 2014 in the capital of Peru, Lima. Youth will speak out loud and make sure its voice will be heard during this COP . Most of the big leaders in the world are driven by a financial motive, but without a world to live, money is nothing worth. We, Youth, will not give up and we will fight for a healthy future for yourself and the Earth!

Written by Iris Hordijk. AEGEE-Europe’s Policy Officer for Sustainability.

1 The UNFCCC consist of 195 parties and 192 of them adopted the Kyoto Protocol in 1997. 37 States in total are legally bind to emission limitations and to reduction commitments. The ultimate objective is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level  that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system.

2 See the link http://train-en.climatejustice.eu/train.html



World Water Day 2013 /world-water-day-2013/ Fri, 22 Mar 2013 17:53:12 +0000 http://aegee.blogactiv.eu/?p=537 The United Nations has the year 2013 proclaimed as the International Year of Water Cooperation and today, the 22nd of March, is the International World Water Day. Water is almost a magic liquid, without water life is not possible on the earth. The amount of clean drinking water will be a hugh problem in the near future, so water is a very current topic. The UN focuses mainly on water cooperation this year. Through different conferences on water cooperation in different countries the UN hopes to attract attention, raise awareness and achieve a better cooperation regarding water policies and actions that are taken.

The European Union has an up to date policy regarding water management. Reports from the European Environment Agency are making clear that unless additional action to the Water Framework Directive (the current water policy of the EU) is taken, it won’t be possible to achieve a good water status by 2015. It was time to implement a new water strategy, otherwise the goals that were set won’t be reached. The Water Blueprint, the new water strategy of the EU, is strongly related to the EU’s 2020 strategy.  The aim of the EU’s 2020 strategy is that the EU becomes a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy. Water is of course an important factor in a sustainable economy, especially with increasing drought in the Mediterranean countries. The objective of the Water Blueprint is to ensure that a sufficient quantity of good quality water is available for people’s needs, the economy and the environment throughout the EU. Hopefully the good water status in the EU is reached by 2015 with this new water strategy!*

In AEGEE the Environmental Working Group members care about water as well. Our last social meeting was about water pollution and plastic soup in the ocean. We think that when everyone contributes a little bit; using less water and less water polluting products, we can make together that clean drinking water will still be, or will again be, available for everyone in the future! Let’s cooperate together and make the earth a better planet!

*Source: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/water/blueprint/

Written by Iris Hordijk, Speaker EnWG AEGEE