With 50 days left before the COP-15 international climate negotiations in Copenhagen, we’ll need a serious shift in climate (figuratively speaking) for any significant shift in climate (literally speaking) to happen after the close of negotiations on December 18th.

Developed and developing nations remain at an impasse over two major points of negotiation–who will incur the brunt of the costs to help developing countries adapt to climate change, and who will take the lead and stop pouring green house gases into the atmosphere. So, what are young people across the country doing to shift the climate state-by-state as our leaders remain stagnant and unproductive? Power Shift.

Power Shift is a campaign for young people, by young people. It is a coalition of some 50 forward-thinking, progressive organizations (including AIDemocracy) that empowers youth to push the envelope around issues of climate change mitigation and adaptation, international climate justice, green jobs, etc. Last spring, 12,000 young people gathered in our nation’s capital for Power Shift 2009, helping inspire the introduction of the American Clean Energy and Security Act in the House. This fall, we’re branching out. Students have organized regional conferences in Oregon, in North Dakota, in Missouri, in Indiana, in Appalachia, in Michigan, in Maryland, in Florida, in the Carolinas, and, most importantly, in Pennsylvania (my home state!)!

After serving on the planning committee for several months, I’m finally seeing Power Shift Pennsylvania take shape. This weekend, we’re going to pressure our elected officials, show solidarity with the international community during the 350.org International Day of Climate Action, and discuss a plethora of issues important to those within the youth climate movement. With the help of AIDemocracy, I’m helping to facilitate a panel with Jim French, a regional advocacy lead with Oxfam America, on the impact of climate change on developing countries, the difference between adaptive and developmental aid to countries, Pennsylvania’s role in the negotiations, and what young people can do to influence those attending the upcoming UNFCCC summit in Copenhagen.

Check back this weekend for a post about the conference, our panel, the 350.org Day of Action, and much, much more!

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