Who Are We?
We are a diverse group of young people from Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe, connected as we all experience the direct and indirect consequences of climate change while also being part of the solutions for the crisis. We have been working together to foster accessibility in international decision making spheres, with special focus in Black, Indigenous, and People Of Color (BIPOC) communities from LA-C representing 21 nationalities in total.
To provide a starting point for a paradigm shift to strengthen the climate movement across the globe by putting underrepresented groups in the spotlight. Moving forward towards accessibility and a diverse representation in decision making spheres, and strengthening unity as a region in order to build bridges with diverse stakeholders (not only part of the climate movement) and expand our network.
We aim to change the existing balance of power by 2025 where regions that are seriously affected by the climate crisis no longer remain underrepresented and where intersectionality is a core value of our fight. This, by sharing our diverse knowledge, stories, experiences, expertise, and realities of the unfolding climate crisis, while also positioning our climate agenda on decision making platforms and the climate movement itself. We acknowledge that a great step to achieve far-reaching and more rapid changes involves releasing our voices in spaces of power.
Grow the network, reach more activists like us that are working by themselves.
Participate in decision making processes and position topics on the climate international agenda.
Actively help (support) our activists on their local climate action campaigns.
Work hand in hand with other activists around the world, showing solidarity and cooperation.
In February and March 2020, many U4CA members were part of the project “Sail for Climate Action”. A group of young Latin Americans and Caribbeans sailed for one month together on the three masted schooner, Regina Maris. Their goal was to reach Europe and attend the UN Climate Change conference in June 2020. Unfortunately the project was cut short due to the global pandemic and the participants had to return to their countries from the island of Bermuda, half-way across the Atlantic. By working alongside each other every day and through building deep-rooted connections, we were able to better understand the different realities around us. We learned so much from each person on board, our similarities, our differences, and what we believed could be done to fight the climate crisis in our regions.
Despite that phase of the project being cut short, the strong will of our team to work together on a long-lasting vision persists. The sailing project is no longer part of our program, but it is a part of our story and it created the bonds needed to fulfil the next chapter of our story, the project, Building Bridges for Climate Action (BB4CA). For this project we were joined by 8 more Latin Americans and Caribbeans to establish our team as it is today.
From November 17th to December 19th, 2020, we - twenty-five young climate experts from Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) - met virtually with German government representatives, politicians, civil society and private actors, the media, and the public. We all shared our knowledge and perspectives, exchanged views on approaches to climate and environmental protection, and made demands to decision-makers. We also organized Virtual Public Events to promote capacity building on specific topics (e.g. colonial continuities in the climate crisis, green economic recovery, the effects of climate change on our oceans and our agriculture). This project was legally administered by the German youth NGO Klimadelegation e.V., funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, and organized with a large team of Latin, Caribbean and European volunteers. And something very special happened: for each of the meetings, we were joined by professional interpreters who helped us bridge our language barriers.
The program was focused on BIPOC youth, as they are often less represented in this field, so we centred the voices of black and Indigenous people from vulnerable areas, such as favelas, quilombos and Indigenous communities. This program was a huge success with 26 meetings and 5 virtual public events, which empowered us to continue the work and prepared us for our 2021 projects.
Despite the fact that the global Covid-19 pandemic had not allowed us to physically meet in Germany and Europe to raise our voices, we feel a strong bond and motivation as a group. We want to work together within the Latin American and Caribbean region, and globally, to close various knowledge gaps, such as environmental variation, culture, realities, and contexts. We want to share this knowledge with the world and have our voices heard. Therefore, we see the need to grow stronger with a name that highlights what we are working towards, and for that reason, we decided to continue working together under the name of “Unite for Climate Action”.