I’ve crashed and I’ve coursed…all day today. The themes of this year’s conference — and the issues we’ll be advocating for during tomorrow’s Hill visits — are:
1) Fighting Global Hunger and Modernizing Our Approach to Food Security
2) Tackling Climate Change and Reducing its Impact on the World’s Poor
3) Protecting and Empowering Girls by Preventing Child Marriage
Early in the day, we were split into our lobbying groups. Even though I’ve been almost 11-years in NYC, I’m part of the six-person strong California group. I can play it off. More has over 150,000 readers in California (that’ll be my “personal” lead in) and, hey, I’m a beach baby, too. Each group has to address the three themes and each member is assigned a role. My role? The Climate Change mini-expert.
So, I listened up and took copious notes throughout the day. Here’s some of what I learned:
**Adotei Akwei, senior policy advocate for Care USA, and the West Region’s climate change advisor, attended a conference in Bali two years ago that was shocking in its absolute absence of reference to the United States when it comes to environmental leadership. Still, he is hopeful about the Obama administration’s pledge to “make up for lost time.”
**The stage is set for the U.S. to do just that since negotiations to develop a new treaty to guide international climate change efforts will take place in Copenhagen in December 2009.
**We will lobby to support immediate mandatory cuts in greenhouse emissions and robust funding for international adaptation. Adaptation is a crucial element since decades of neglect have already caused changes that all regions need to respond to. One of CARE’s innovative approaches to adaptation involves teaching women in flood-prone areas of Bangladesh to raise duck instead of chickens, because ducks float and chickens drown. Who knew?
**There is no bill in the Senate yet, but we need to make our voices heard to Environment & Public Works Committee Chair Barbara Boxer and Ranking Member James Inhofe. In the House, we’ll be throwing our support behind the Waxman-Markey bill — the American Clean Energy & Security Act of 2009.
Group 3 from the West: see you bright and early to finish preparing for our five Hill meetings tomorrow!
Posted by: Mariela