Youth at Lund Climate Gathering COP15

My talk at Lund Climate Gathering – Bringing the voice of youth to COP15

Karl McFaul at Lund Climate Gathering, COP15
Karl McFaul at Lund Climate Gathering, COP15

Friday the 13th, November 2009, I gave a talk the three day Climate Gathering – “Klimatting ETT” – in Lund, Sweden. This was part of ESS contribution to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen 2009, COP15, by supporting what we consider being the most important resource for solving the problems of the future – our young people! My audience consisted of bout 250 Swedish and international youths, ranging between the age of 12 – 25. I showed to them an experiment on superconductivity, and informed them in general about materials science and how research at ESS will benefit society with new, more sustainable, materials for a sustainable society. I also described our strategy to make the facility itself, ESS, become the first really climate smart research centre in the world and thus setting a new international standard for eco-friendly large scale constructions.

I ended my presentation by asking for ideas on how we could use the excess heat which will be produced by the ESS facility during summertime. Lots of young people turned up at the ESS mobile exhibition booth to contribute with ideas, pick our brochures and ask questions about ESS.

Eco-friendly car
Eco-friendly car

A really smart idea came from a young entrepreneur, Simon Svendler, who suggested that ESS should use the excess heat to produce energy for a couple of “quick charging stations” for electric cars that will pass by on the E22 highway next to the ESS site in the future.

Governments, representing the whole world, will meet in Copenhagen in December 2009 for the 15th – and probably the largest of its kind – conference on climate change: COP 15. The aim for all countries is to unite in their efforts in reducing global warming and to produce a successor of the Kyoto Protocol as it expires in 2012.

This is why the youth council of Lund, the UFO (Youth Forum for Agenda 21) and the municipality of Lund arranges the three day long climate gathering. The purpose is to amplify the voice of the young, to work out a joint message to the COP 15 meeting and provide new knowledge and possibilities to act together. Some of the participants will be even be given the chance to participate as delegates at COP 15.

Ecological smoothie bicycle
Ecological smoothie bicycle

The three days consisted of inspiring discussions, workshops, lectures, brainstorming, presentations, meetings, own creations, study visits and evenings filled with social and cultural activities. Key persons in climate politics, as well as participants in the upcoming COP 15 meeting, were also present.

The Climate Gathering aimed to – as far as possible – keep the climate gathering carbon neutral, to provide ecological and environmentally friendly solutions and products throughout the conference. One of the smoothiest features was the bicycle driven blender, the”smoothie bicycle” manufactured by Mossagården, with which we could make delicious smoothies on ecologically produced fruit!