Climate to fore at youth forum

'NZ is a bit embarrassing in our lack of action'

MATT BOWEN
Last updated 10:54 06/12/2012
YOUNG AND RESTLESS: Sam Taylor, left, and Anna Powell are among 1000 young people who will attend a climate change summit in Auckland during the next three days.
CHRIS HILLOCK
YOUNG AND RESTLESS: Sam Taylor, left, and Anna Powell are among 1000 young people who will attend a climate change summit in Auckland during the next three days.

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Nine Hamiltonians will be among almost 1000 youth who will descend on Auckland tomorrow for the inaugural Power Shift NZ Pacific climate summit.

The Power Shift preamble is co-ordinated by grassroots organisations 350 Aotearoa and Generation Zero as well as individuals, and follows its namesake in Australia, India, the US and Canada.

It consists of three days of workshops, high-profile speakers and "positive group action" to launch a non-political, policy-focused youth climate movement.

So meet Sam Taylor, 23, of Wellington St in Hamilton East -vegetarian, psychology student, Waikato University student union vice-president and car pooler.

And her flatmate Anna Powell, 22 - Bachelor of Media Arts and Communications graduate majoring in PR and advertising, Hamilton City Youth Council member and free-range consumer.

Sam: "I think it's a great opportunity. We're both really concerned about climate change and NZ is a bit embarrassing in our lack of action."

Anna: "Australia's been doing [Power Shift] for years.

"They've done a lot of awareness campaigns for sourcing renewable energy and that sort of thing."

Sam: "The idea is to upskill a whole lot of people. The strength some other countries have is a well-established movement and skilled, resourced, well-connected people. And the idea for Power Shift is to get that more happening for us and the Pacific region."

Anna: "We can definitely [solve] it. It's about changing public opinion and actioning our ideas."

Sam: "It's disheartening that we've pulled out of the Kyoto protocol.

"The national government is a barrier to progress and I'm pretty disheartened by that.

"But you don't wait around for the government. We're the ones who have to do it. I think it's possible."

Anna: "I think the generation we're in is moving forward and we'll be the ones who are hyper-aware of climate change because we've grown up with it and talked about it constantly and we're going to be the ones that make a difference."

Anyone aged 13 to 35 , as well as anyone else who is young at heart, is welcome to attend, and tickets are still available. Visit www.powershift.org.nz for details.

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- Waikato Times

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