New Zealand Youth Delegation Roll Up Their Sleeves for Global Climate Working Bee
This Sunday marked the 10th of the 10th 2010, as well as an international campaign to reduce climate change. 10/10/10 — “The Global Climate Working Bee” — was a day when thousands of communities across the globe came together to celebrate community solutions to climate change. Youth climate action group, the New Zealand Youth Delegation, was actively involved in numerous events around New Zealand, demonstrating positivity and power in young Kiwis.
The New Zealand Youth Delegation (NZYD) is a group of twelve passionate young people engaging with New Zealand’s youth on climate
change issues and bringing a youthful perspective to the international climate negotiations. They represented youth in Copenhagen last
December at the COP15 United Nations Climate Change Conference, and will also attend the follow up conference, COP16, in Cancun at the end
of this year.
In October 2009, NZYD delegates joined an international movement for climate change solutions to reduce the concentration of CO2 in our
atmosphere to 350ppm, agreed by climate scientists to be the safe level. Thousands of Kiwis participated in what CNN called “the most
widespread day of political action in the planet’s history”, an action day facilitated by the organization 350.org.
Following on this year, 350.org called for even bigger action with the 10/10/10 Global Climate Working Bee. At least 7347 groups in 188 of
the world’s countries responded to that call by taking action on Sunday. More than 120 groups across Aotearoa sang out for strong
climate action, involving baking, biking, sunrises, tree-planting, painting, lobbying, and a variety of other creative and beautiful messages.
In particular, one notable presence on 10/10/10 was the participation and dedication of New Zealand’s young people. In their own words, here
we share some of the 10/10/10 stories from a few members of the NZYD:
Chelsea Robinson, Wellington:
“Our group of 8 people of all ages marched around central Wellington for 3 hours clutching handles that supported a wooden frame shaped
like a bus with a huge 350 banner along the top (plus a bell and a license plate reading “ECO BUS – 0 carbon emissions”), singing at the
top of our voices “come take a ride on the footbus”, a song with many verses. We would stop when we met groups of interested people, and get
them to jump in and sing along and we’d walk them to their destination whether it be a shop or a bus stop. Luckily we never had to “bus”
anyone to his or her car… The most valuable part of it was having great conversations to members of the public all about 350.org and the
civil passion in the movement, and they all walked away with flyers in their hands. Fun, community building, awareness raising – fantastic
Emily Harris, Auckland:
“We wanted to make it really easy for people to give gardening a try, so we gave out lots of herb and vegetable seedlings together with
instructions on how to look after the plants. We were really keen to get children involved so we set up an activity station where they
could make their own plant pot, plant a seed to take home and decorate a plant tag for their pot. It was fantastic to see how excited people
were about being able to take plants home with them.”
Paul Young, Dunedin:
“I left my house at 9am to start a 20km bike ride out to Waitati over Mt Cargill. It had just started drizzling when I left. By the time I
arrived at the bottom, of the other side of the mountain I was drenched and shivering as a cold front came in from the south bringing
heavy rain and blustery winds. I was warmed though, by the sight of a man on a unicycle, just starting his journey back the other way. I
turned around and rode back to Dunedin with this man – also called Paul – to attend a bike fix-up, and then a local food picnic that I
had organised, which we had to shift indoors. In spite of the weather we had a fantastic turnout at the picnic, and people enjoyed the
sharing of delicious food while listening to some live music and storytelling. Mike (another New Zealand Youth Delegate) and I both got
up to speak on climate change. Finally, I relaxed, and enjoyed the feeling of rising to the challenge in the name of a liveable climate.”
Luke Carey, Waiheke Island
“The sun was shining, the wraps and fruits were delicious, and it made for a fine day on Waiheke Island at its annual Green Party picnic; a
fundraiser for my travels to Cancun. Previously called the ‘Picnic for the Planet’, it was held in Surfdale with a surprisingly large turnout
and everyone left smiling with just about $1000 raised. I was kept busy talking to various members of Greenpeace, the Green Party
including co-leader Russell Norman, Cycle Action Waiheke, kaumatua, Waiheke Biosphere Reserve Trust, Gulf News and Waiheke Marketplace as
well as individuals. Congratulations to Tony Pope for winning the Raffle and special thanks to John and Denise for organizing such a fantastic 10/10/10 event.”
Other projects that other NZYD delegates contributed to on 10/10/10 included chalk-drawing climate messages all over Queen Street in
Auckland, speaking at the Climate Smart Film Festival in Christchurch, and a campaign we ran called ‘Don’t slouch, get on the couch, for
climate change’, at the Hands On showcase of sustainable living in Devonport.
It was the biggest day of practical action to cut carbon emissions that the world has ever seen. And there were Kiwi youth, right there
in the midst of it, proving that young people can be a powerful peaceful presence in our streets. Proving that we see positive solutions in the world’s most pressing problems. Proving that we care about climate change, and we’re willing to wake up early, get on our bikes, and get out there to make change.
The spokespeople for the NZYD are:
They are available for interviews, and can provide more photographs and information if required.