Climate justice was on the agenda at the Young Friends of the Earth Europe summer camp 2015 in Brittany, north-west France, as 100 European youth gathered to discuss action plans and environmental justice in the run-up to this december’s UN climate talks in Paris. With workshops on intersectionality and migration struggles, we worked on broadening the scope of our movement and getting to grips with how our mainstream economic and political systems have produced the climate crisis, and how this intersects with many other struggles.
We kicked off the week in Brittany with visits from local activists for in a range of fields – from those who’d successfully struggled against a nuclear power plant in the 1970s, to others resisting a new gas plant in the region today. Dora from Croatia and Mélody from France recapped the day’s events.
Day two saw more introduction to some of the cross-cutting systemic issues that intersect with the climate struggle, with the migration crisis, the EU-US trade talks and more we on the agenda. Fatima from the Netherlands and Carmen from Scotland were in attendance.
In the afternoon, we were joined by several local activists from the nearby town of Plogoff, who successfully campaigned against a new nuclear power plant being built on the coastline in the 1970s. They took us on a hike to where the plant would have been built, and explained the history of the movement. Clemence from France reflects on how these struggles are still relevant today.
After the nuclear hike, we tackled the hard questions around privilige: the race, gender, class and economic components of our background, and why it’s vital we address these issues as activists. Sydney from Ireland and Kristina from Czech Republic share their thoughts.
The penultimate day of the camp saw us decamp to the nearby Île de Sein, where part of the local community is struggling to throw off the shackles of fossil fuel-dependence in favour of community-run renewables. Josef from Czech Republic and Roxanne from the UK report back on boats, windy weather, and occupying a lighthouse.
Marching across the Île de Sein for climate justice
All good things have to come to an end, and as the camp for another year, Carmen from Scotland and Jasmina from Macedonia wrote about their impressions of the final workshops. Next stop, Paris – and beyond!