Saturday, December 18, 2010

1MinuteToSaveTheWorld - Environmental Film Competition

Check out this interesting article from 1MinuteToSaveTheWorld, a environmental film competition building awareness on climate change.

With the conclusion of the COP-16 United Nations Climate Change Negotiations in Cancún, Mexico, environmental activists all over the world must reflect on the work that is still left to be done. Despite the increased transparency and cordiality of the talks, the singing of the Cancún Accords represents only a small step forward.

On the bright side, one of the most positive developments was the creation of a $100 billion fund to help the nations of the Global South achieve their climate change adaptation goals. COP-16 also distinguished itself from previous conferences by formally recognizing the damaging effects of deforestation on emissions reduction. The participation and recognition of delegations from smaller nations also added valuable insight to the challenges that lie ahead.

Unfortunately, while the intentions of COP-16 were good, certain findings signify yet another retreat from our responsibilities of environmental stewardship. We cannot rely on future generations to solve the problems of today and tomorrow. How will history judge our efforts when it is documented that we reaffirmed COP-15’s standards for emissions reduction? The dangers are too great to ignore. In the meantime, negotiators have encouraged the approval of REDD (Reducing Emissions through Deforestation and Degradation), which would cap global temperatures at a 2 degrees C rise. This measure, however, may be too little too late – even a rise of 1.5 degrees has been cited by many reputable scientists as a mark that will have catastrophic consequences. And of course, in the tradition of previous conferences, the Cancún Accords are unfortunately non-binding. Historically, very little has been accomplished by treaties that do not provide mechanisms of accountability and enforcement.

How can we gear up for COP-17 in a meaningful way? We must spread the word that our policy makers are selling our environmental future down the river. Through environmental awareness campaigns, we can engage and galvanize the nations of the world. People must understand the disastrous results of continuing down the road of non-capped emissions that we’ve been on for nearly a century. In the meantime, efforts must be made to halt the detrimental activities of the worst offenders and to strengthen local governments that do not have the means to enforce laws that protect fragile ecosystems.

One awareness campaign making a huge difference in the “here and now” is online environmental film competition 1MinuteToSaveTheWorld at Filmmakers from around the world are being asked to submit minute-long films on climate change. Last year’s competition proved to be a huge international sensation and this year is already shaping up to be a great success.  Please join the environmental and film communities by viewing the work of talented directors online or by submitting your own feature film before the 17 January 2011 deadline.

Please make the choice to get involved – with 1MinuteToSaveTheWorld or your own local environmental organization. Let us all face next year’s UN conference with a renewed determination to advance an agenda that will secure our generation’s environmental legacy.

Story by Michael Greenberg
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