This past Tuesday YEA! MN (Youth Environmental Activists of Minnesota) teamed up with MPIRG (Minnesota Public Interest Research Group) to create a youth centered lobby day at the state capitol. Tons of youth from around Minnesota, came to the event. Everyone was excited to learn about the legislative process and make a difference in our state’s environmental policy. Students learned how to lobby with their designated senators and representatives from a workshop lead by MPIRG. Then everyone divided into groups to learn more specifically about the topics on which they wanted to lobby on. The topics were the solar standard in Minnesota, the recycling refund act, Voter ID, and environmental defense of existing bills. Students met with senators and representatives in meetings MPIRG had set up. The day concluded with all the participants singing Let’s Use the Sun (to the tune of Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles) written by Shira Breen and the South High School environmental club, The Green Tigers.
YEA! MN and MPIRG youth team up to advocate for solar and other environmental policies at the MN state capitol.
The Will Steger Foundation is working closely with the Center for Energy and Environment (CEE) through our YEA! MN program to connect schools and student leaders with the Minnesota Energy Challenge, a program of CEE. The goal of this collaboration is to educate Twin Cities metro area students about the importance of energy conservation, inspire student-led action projects, and to motivate schools to find creative and constructive ways to save energy.
On February 9, Senator Amy Klobuchar (D – Minnesota) addressed one of her top priorities in a speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate:
…the critical need to get serious about building a new energy agenda for America, one that keeps our businesses competitive in the global economy, preserves our environment and restarts the engine that has always kept our country moving forward, that is innovation.”
As of 10:45pm on Saturday Dec. 10, 2011, the only big decision of the COP process was a recommendation by a working group that the next Kyoto commitment would be 8 years. They also suggested that the commitment would allow for a range of 20-40% reductions from 1990 levels by the major industrialized nations. Many of the developing countries were not satisfied by this level of “ambition” and therefore wanted a 5 year commitment so they could ratchet up the standard for the next one. Parties additionally wanted to change language of the proposal, and probably could have fought over the exact wording forever. At the end of the day, the chairman of the working group decided that the 8 year, semi-weak reductions were better than nothing, and forced it through. He made a quick motion, no one objected in a half-second (literally), and down went the gavel signaling the close of this particular session until COP 18.
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