The COP16 climate summit kicks off in Cancun with a monumental statement to U.N. negotiators — the whole world is ready for a low-carbon future, and the next step is a fair and ambitious climate treaty.
This afternoon in Cancun, just before the beginning of the COP16 climate meeting, TckTckTck erected a massive pyramid in the courtyard of the Moon Palace where for the next two weeks international negotiators will be developing and debating the architecture of what will eventually become the world's most expansive multilateral treaty.
Though many still bemoan the failure of COP15 in Copenhagen, new UNFCCC head Christiana Figueres has infused the talks with a new can-do attitude, hence the corny yet fun Tck slogan — "Let's put the Can in CanCun."
Figueres has also been the most visibly inclusive of civil society, represented in the talks by observers from hundreds of organizations working on climate, poverty and sustainability issues. In China, she added her stamp to the TckTckTck climate wall which represented the visions and hopes of Chinese youth in October's intercessional U.N. meeting.
And today she inserted a building block into the pyramid (all made of recycled cardboard, I am told) signifying the U.N.'s desire to partner with civil society in building momentum for positive action on climate change:
As Tck campaign director Paul Horsman explains:
There is a huge global movement of people demanding a low-carbon future and sending a clear signal that politicians have a mandate to take the bold steps needed to tackle climate change. Our pyramid represents the collective will of millions of people around the world who demand action. They are rolling up their sleeves and making a difference in their lives, and they want negotiators to show the same spirit and deliver the building blocks for success.
The pyramid, 20' wide and 10' tall, was covered in messages and photos sent in by some of TckTckTck's partner organizations (TckTckTck is an alliance of over 200 nonprofit organizations) and it shows the diversity of a movement that continues to grow as the biggest climate polluters — the U.S. and China — continue to stall.
Will the climate negotiators make serious progress in Cancun? One hopes the pyramid will be a reminder that though monumental things (like a global climate treaty) may take some time to complete, the time is now to cement in place the key building blocks that will make a legally binding climate treaty a reality in the near future.
NOTE: Karl is working with TckTckTck on their digital campaigns and is currently in Cancun blogging and tweeting @greendig for COP16.
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