123 parade with the Green Party in Taiwan

10 Dec

Recently Taiwan Youth Climate Coalition (TWYCC), through the efforts of Liang-Yi Chang, worked with the Taiwan Green Party in it’s recent Climate Change activities – the December 3rd (123) Global Day of Action 123全球抗暖化日行動日. As a co-Director of TWYCC, I was invited to speak at their recent press conference promoting their event in front of Taipei 101.

The Green Party in Taiwan is often mistaken for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in Taiwan. There are two major parties in Taiwan – the Nationalist Party (KMT) and DPP. They are mostly identified by their colors – the Blues and the Greens. Though in the past the Green Party has sometimes worked with the DPP in environmental issues as the opposition party, they are now aligned against both parties as they believe both of them have failed to make major commitments towards the environmental issues in Taiwan. In fact, the last time that Taiwan’s presidency was won by a DPP candidate (Chen Shue-Bian), he overturned many of the environmental issues that he had professed near and dear to his heart prior election. It was a disheartening betrayal to many of the local environmental groups that had supported him.

The Green Party’s two main issues this year are the increase in green space per person (parks), and a valiant anti-nuke stance under the current administration’s rhetoric that counts nuclear energy as renewable. There are other issues they are pushing which I won’t go into at the moment.

The Green Party is actually something of an international party movement, there are Green Parties in various countries of the world. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_party Global Greens Network I’ve heard, for example, that the Green Party in Germany holds a great deal of sway, and was very effective in changing the country’s energy policies.

I was personally against aligning TWYCC with any political groups. But upon talking to some of the Green Party people, I realized our interests are very much aligned, and they are indeed very plain-spoken people whose objectives we can (at this stage) trust. Of course, we still reserve our independence and the right to detach and attach whenever a political parties goals changes from our own, as any good NGO would try to do, especially one such as our where our influence on climate change policy is so important to our operations.

So we volunteered to hold a booth at their event, plus make a live-connection to our team in Durban* on the day of the 123 parade. Since the internet connection in the hostel our youth were staying at in Durban was not very steady, we played a video our Media Coordinator Sarah Chen Lin had compiled from footage our COP17 team sent over from the event, and then skype-called Zora Tsai’s phone, our COP17 team leader.

Connecting to Durban event from Taipei City Hall

Liang-Yi and Sarah onstage with our COP17 t-shirts

The turnout to this event were mostly people who were already involved in environmental works movement. That was a pity, since they also hosted the screening of a pretty interesting film: Growthbusters (錢鬼剋星) at the outdoors venue that night. It was not a short film. But you can’t see it anywhere else in Taiwan! The Green Party say that they have been holding 123 parades for a decade now. The atmosphere at the entire parade/fair thing was fairly relaxed and enjoyable, and we had lovely volunteers to help out! I believe TWYCC can do much more next year to promote this event to attendees, and with a good turnout, bring government attention to strong climate change related policies.

We will, of course, hold firmly to our cause and independence as a youth led organization. Our goals are to become more involved in policy influence and capacity building this following year, and I will post more on that soon. If you have any ideas for our organization, please feel free to write to us at taiwanyouthclimatecoalition@gmail.com , visit us at http://twycc.tw and our facebook page http://www.facebook.com/twycc?ref=ts

Getting stronger every minute!

*Taiwan Youth Climate Coalition has sent a team of 5 Taiwanese youth to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – 17th Conference of Parties (COP17), and the 7th Conference of Youth (COY7), to learn, network and participate in the youth movements there. They are also there to serve as a uniting/communicating factor for all the different groups of Taiwanese youth that are sent to this event. They will share their experiences with us on Dec 17th at the Youth Hub in Taipei. I hope to be able to post a link to this event soon. So stay updated!

Taiwan Youth in Durban

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