Bringing the Tar Sands to the U.N.: Divestment at COP19

On November 15, youth from many countries will bring student activism to the forefront of the United Nations climate negotiations taking place in Warsaw, Poland. The side event, titled “The Potential of Divestment: Changing the Landscape of Climate Politics to 2015”, will shed light on the technical aspects of the tactic, as well as share stories from the movement and explore ways in which delegates can divest in many parts of their everyday lives.

The COP conferences, the United Nations’ yearly attempts at international climate action, have been historically marked by shoddy commitments and lofty promises with failed deliveries. This year’s conference has brought more of the same issues to the forefront; greenhouse gas emissions reductions, as well as Loss and Damage and adaptation, are hot topics in the wake of Super Typhoon Haiyan. These are issues that, of course, Canada has no intention of supporting. In fact, Canada pretty much has no intention of doing anything productive at these talks (it’s one of the reasons why the Canadian Youth Delegation is staying home for the first time since the COP11 conference in Montreal).

Clearly, we need real, tangible action on climate change. It isn’t likely to come from our negotiators, but from the grassroots, from the movers and shakers in our communities. This divestment event hopes to bridge the political will and people power from the student movement to the fight for an ambitious, legally binding treaty by the 2015 COP in Paris. Divestment has the potential to (and already is!) significantly influence climate policy.

We’re excited to see how this event can bring the dialogue on divestment beyond college campuses and into the minds of negotiators’ and delegates’ daily lives.

JOIN US tomorrow: the event will be Nov. 15th time. In other words: 10:45AM-12:15PM Eastern Time, 9:45AM-11:15AM Central Time, 8:45AM-10:15AM Mountain Time, and 7:15AM-9:15AM Pacific Time.

ASK US questions by tweeting and hashtagging #DivestCOP, and we will respond to you afterwards (in 140 characters or less!).

Leehi Yona of Montreal is a lead organizer for Divest Dartmouth and is a youth delegate at the COP19 talks. @LeehiYona

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