Europe Jam on Climate! 🇪🇺

by | 30. October 2020

After the first event of the Europe Jams during the Online Forum on Modern Direct Democracy was initially planned as a free discussion platform, we decided, based on the feedback from the participants, to hold upcoming Jams on specific topics. Our following Europe Jam was on the topic of Climate. Our intern Max Tjong-Ayong shares his impressions.

Before the outbreak of the Corona pandemic, the climate crisis was one of the most prominent topics in the media. Every week, young people took to the streets to demonstrate against the current climate policy and for social change. According to the first topic suggestions made by the participants, it quickly became clear that climate issues were one of the key topics for our young audience.

In the hope of attracting young participants to the “Europe 2.0” project, we contacted different youth organisations from all over Europe. With our discussion format, we especially wanted to reach those who have been advocating for action on climate change.

Systemic changes should be made such as cheaper package free shopping and railway trips. Eco-friendly means of travel should be better supported.”

Participant of the Europe Jam

Video of the Europe Jam on Climate

That is why we were particularly pleased to welcome participants from Students for Future and the Camp for Future to our first thematic event.

At the start of the session it was important for us to understand who joined us under the “virtual” dome of the Zoom Room. Right after a short welcome by the project team, each of the eleven participants had the opportunity to present their most important concern in the field of climate protection/climate policy.

In the following discussion we asked what the participants perceived as the biggest risk connected to climate change and how young people could be inspired to become more active. The participants agreed that most people are aware of the problems of climate change, but that the motivation to commit to far-reaching changes could still be improved upon (“The system makes it too easy for people not to be engaged politically.”).

Some of those present felt the pandemic had shown that radical changes in times of crisis are quite possible, but less privileged people should not be burdened by those changes.

Members of Students for Future and Camp for Future took the opportunity to share their experiences from past youth events with the other participants. They pointed out that activism can be exemplified when you start making a difference in yourself.

Especially when it comes to creating a general awareness of the consequences of climate change, actions like the “Ohne Kerosin nach Berlin” tour organised by Students for Future are extremely important. Participants of Students for Future reported how, during this bike tour from Cologne to Berlin, they learned in conversation with farmers how the effects of climate change are already being strongly felt in agriculture.

One participant remarked that it was a privilege for him to be part of the climate movement. He and his fellow activists would try their best to involve more people. 

As a moderator, I was particularly enthusiastic about the casual, yet focused discussion between complete strangers. In the hope that our discussion round will encourage more young people to get actively involved, I am very much looking forward to the upcoming Jams!

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There is a privilege connected to being able to participate in climate activism. We should be working on how the range of climate activism can be expanded to other communities.”

Participant of the Europe Jam

Some impressions from our event: