Two leaders of the Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice will speak about their activism and advocacy for global action on climate change at an on-campus event Wednesday.

Lidy Nacpil and Alex Rafalowicz will talk about justice and the relationship between “Global North” and “Global South” in the context of climate change, development, debt, and energy. They will also share future plans for the movement and touch on ways to become involved in the global fight for justice, including this weekend’s People’s Climate March in New York City.

Members of College of the Atlantic’s environmental activist group Earth in Brackets plan on attending the New York event and are imploring fellow students to attend Wednesday’s forum, 7 p.m. in the Great Hall inside Turrets.

The event is free, open to all, and will be of interest to anyone who cares about climate change, social justice, economics, international relations, development, organizing, activism, or politics.

“We’re really excited and honored to welcome Lidy and Alex to COA, as the kind of activism and political organising they are experienced in hold a lot of lessons for aspiring human ecologists,” said Nathan Thanki ’14, of Belfast, Northern Ireland, who has attended numerous international climate forums representing Earth in Brackets. “Their visit represents a maturing relationship between COA students and global justice movements.”

Nacpil is the director of Jubilee South Asia-Pacific Movement on Debt and Development, a network of anti-debt coalitions in more than 60 countries. She has worked with Freedom from Debt Philippines since the early 1990s, and was a student activist during the Marcos regime. In addition, she is the convenor of the Philippines Movement for Climate Justice and in the coordinating team of the Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice. Nacpil has given speaking tours around the world on her work for economic justice, debt, democracy, citizenship, and more recently climate justice and energy.

Rafalowicz is a founding member of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition and a current law fellow with the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development. He is a member of the coordinating team of the Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice, a coalition of hundreds of  organisations and networks across the globe, and has worked extensively in facilitation and media roles among civil society networks at United Nations climate negotiations. He has a  master’s degree in law and economics and currently lives in Bogota, Colombia.

Earth in Brackets is a student collective that works on issues of climate and social justice at both the international and local level. The group meets every Wednesday, 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Elliot Study Space and is open to everyone.

Members of the group have taken in-depth roles in international climate talks including, most recently, attending the Social PreCOP on Climate Change in Margarita Island, Venezuela, in July — a first-ever international forum aimed at bringing the voice of average citizens to U.N. climate change talks.

At the invitation of the Venezuelan government, members of COA’s Earth in Brackets attending the forum were Maria Escalante ’16, of Chia, Colombia; and Angela Valenzuela ’17 of Victoria, Chile. COA alumni Anjali Appadurai ’13, of Coquitlam, B.C., Canada; and Thanki also took part.

“The topics were broad, but there was a clear premise — change the system, not the climate,” Escalante said of the July 15-18 forum.

Members of the group also plan on attending the Twentieth Conference of the Parties — the highest-level U.N. climate change panel, in Lima, Dec. 1-12; as well as talks at UN headquarters in New York within the framework of the 69th UN General Assembly on Sept. 23.

Some 64 COA students — nearly 20 percent of the student body — and at least a dozen alumni have signed up to attend the climate rally in New York, Thanki said.

For more about Earth in Brackets, watch this video by Devin Altobello ’13, who followed the team in Durban, South Africa, in 2011. Earth in Brackets, which is sometimes known by the symbol [Earth], also has a detailed website.


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