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DEC 07, 2009, MONDAY

Youth at Copenhagen: A preview
by Sara Peach

No matter what happens at Copenhagen during the next two weeks, young people will live with the consequences. If the world is a warmer, stormier and more uncertain place by 2050, many of today's children and young adults will live to see it.

For the American youth activist Ellie Johnston, a student at the University of North Carolina at Asheville, reducing emissions is a moral issue.

"We have to do it, and we have to do it now," she told me a few weeks ago. "We have to put our short-term concerns aside for the moment."

I arrived in Copenhagen yesterday with the goal of following youth activists as they push negotiators to reach a strong agreement to cut emissions. As of last week, more than 800 youth from dozens of countries planned to attend.

Yesterday afternoon, I caught the end of the Conference of Youth, where hundreds of youth leaders were getting energized for the next two weeks. To draw attention to their messages, activist Brianna Cayo-Cotter, also an American, told me they plan to hold media-oriented spectacles nearly ever day.

I'll be filming some of those spectacles and talking with youth about their communications strategies. Check back in this space soon for multimedia updates.

Youth Photo
Youth leaders pose for a group shot at the Conference of Youth at Copenhagen University on Sunday.

Sara Peach is reporting from Copenhagen thanks to a grant from the Pulitzer Committee on Crisis Reporting.

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December 7, 2009