Saturday, 16 January 2021

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Ciné-ONU: Anote’s Ark

On 20 March, Ciné-ONU screened ‘Anote’s Ark’ in partnership with UN Environment to highlight the UN Secretary-General's priority focus on SDG 13, Climate Action.

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The Pacific Island nation of Kiribati is one of the most remote places on the planet, seemingly far-removed from the pressures of modern life. Yet it is one of the first countries that must confront the main existential dilemma of our time: imminent annihilation from sea-level rise.

It is “a powerful example of people on the front lines of climate change”, according to panellist Rachel Simon, Climate and Development Policy Coordinator, CAN Europe. The documentary was followed by a conversation with Ms Simon and Anuna de Wever, Belgian Activist, Youth for Climate, Thierry Lucas, Acting Head, Brussels Office, UNEP, moderated by Petra Hongell, UNRIC.

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What can we really do to reduce climate change? “Globally, there are key sectors where we need to act....The food we eat...the way we live…the way you came to this movie is incredibly important” according to Thierry Lucas. 

The youth movement that Ms De Wever is part of has gained incredible momentum and has the possibility to affect change. As she said: “we had our first strike and there were 3000 people, and then 15,000, and then 35,000, and then I realised I had started something big. It was a moment of a generation waking up…From now on it will only get bigger.” Rachel Simon agreed, saying “We know politicians are concerned and we see movement on the streets. Climate is an issue on the agenda - personally I’m very encouraged.”

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Mr Lucas pointed out that “it starts from all of you. Elections are coming up. You can decide on who is being empowered and you can act yourself… It’s important for you to keep fighting - because the politicians have to respond.” Ms De Wever agreed saying “now we have grandparents for climate, researchers for climate... The only thing we don’t have is politicians for climate. That’s the problem.”

Secretary General António Guterres recently underlined that the climate and its advocates will not, and should not, be ignored. As Ms De Wever concluded, “I’m sure the movement won’t die out. I’ve met lots of young and old people, this is not just a wave. It’s the start of something very big. What we’re starting now is knowledge...That’s all we need.”

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To watch the Facebook live streamed interview with Anuna De Wever, click here.

For the handout, click here.

To see pictures from the evening, click here.

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