Last year, as Christmas came around, there was a powerful groundswell around climate change, culminating in the COP15 conference in Copenhagen (COP15 stands for the 15th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change). You may remember I was quite excited about “Hopenhagen” and the crowd sourced ambassador program put together by the Huffington Post. But it all felt too rushed. There was not enough time to build momentum outside the web world – we needed businesses on our side, governments to commit and we needed a grass roots, community activation plan that no one could ignore.
Despite the noise generated by Copenhagen, it was clear that the agreements not to agree, had been hammered out well beforehand. The groundswell arrived too late. It was all noise but no movement.
So I want to start early this year. COP16, to be held in Mexico in December, is the next global rallying point. But to make this successful, we need to do a lot more preparation in the lead up. And that means STARTING NOW.
What I am proposing is this …
COP16 – 16 Journeys from 16 Countries in 16 Weeks
I am looking for teams of participants in 16 countries. These teams will travel from their country of origin to Mexico, but they will do so over 16 weeks. They will travel where possible using sustainable technologies – electric or diesel cars, trains, boats, gliders – whatever comes to hand. The teams may hand off to others relay-style or stay the course from beginning to end.
Their task is not just to ARRIVE, but to EDUCATE, HARNESS and MOTIVATE people along the way. The aim is to create awareness and build a movement, town by town, truck stop by truck stop.
But this is not just about people. It’s also about business. We’ll be asking those sustainable businesses around the world how they can help. Who can provide the cars, the support, the transport, the logistics and the planning? Who can help us bridge the world’s oceans? Who can demonstrate their business innovation and global leadership by helping us achieve these aims?
And, of course, this is about stories. About the real stories of people touched already by climate change. It’s about the future stories of generations – that these teams can begin to also tell.
But this is also about YOU. These are only beginning ideas. I need you to rally around. Share your thoughts and best ideas. I need you to think about your NETWORKS – about who you know and how they can help. Share this idea – build on it – and let’s make sure that COP16 is not a cop-out.
Just don’t be silent!