Thousands of European youth push Europe to raise its ambition

10 October 2011

Press release: Youth demand higher targets and investment in climate protection at Environment Council

Luxembourg, Monday October 10th , 2011 – European environment ministers met today to discuss this year's international climate talks in Durban. Youth activists from across Europe pushed a giant one-Eurocent coin to the entrance of the Environment Council symbolising their demands for investment in climate protection and higher European climate targets. They handed over the coin and a petition to the Polish deputy environmental minister Mackowiak-Pandera.

Björn Obmann of BUNDjugend, Push Europe project coordinator said: "An ambitious climate target will benefit our economy and create millions of new jobs – this is what young people want and need. Every Cent we don't invest into climate protection today will cost future generations tenfold in fighting the effects of climate change."

Over 5,000 young activists from all over Europe made symbolic one Eurocent transfers to their governments to call their attention to the need to raise the European climate targets and invest in tomorrow's low-carbon economy. Young people are concerned about the effects that climate change will have within their lifetime and more ambitious targets are essential – at least 40% domestic by 2020, compared with 1990 levels, without offsetting.

Björn Obmann continued: "Today's Council is all about strategy for the international climate talks in Durban. But there cannot be a successful strategy if the EU doesn't raise its targets for a second commitment period. If the EU agrees to an unconditional and domestic target of at least 30% it would be an important step towards the at least 40% we need. And it would send a clear and positive message to the negotiations in Durban."

The Push Europe coalition is calling on the EU to commit to a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol without false solutions like offsetting and carbon markets, in order to preserve the only legally binding instrument for emission reduction targets.

Images from the action are available here:

The Push Europe campaign was initiated by Young Friends of the Earth Europe, UK Youth Climate Coalition and German BUNDjugend.

More information on the campaign on