About 1,500 youths gathered at Cargo Event Space on 7 Nguyen Tat Thanh Street, Ward 12, District 4, HCMC from 16:00 to 21:00 on November 25th to join the Climate Action Festival POWER UP organized by CHANGE/350.org Vietnam. The festival celebrated the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP21, which will be held in Paris from November 30 to December 11, 2015. This was a highlight in the series of events Global Climate March, which will all take place in 150 nations on two days November 28th and 29th, to urge world leaders to take urgent actions in tackling the global climate crisis. The event hopes to inform Vietnamese community, especially the youth, as well as local and international business leaders about climate change and energy, and inspire them to speak up and send the strong message of Vietnam, along with other nations worldwide, to the conference.

Energy production from fossil fuels, particularly coal, is one of the leading causes of human-induced climate change. On November 28th and 29th, hundreds of thousands of people worldwide will join marches to deliver a statement to world leaders at COP21: “Keep fossil fuels in the ground and finance a just transition to 100% renewable energy before 2050.” The POWER UP festival in Vietnam helped convey this global message.

Participants experienced innovative activities about climate change through four main areas with stimulating themes:
1. Fossil Fuel: encountered with Coal Witch, created a symbolic coal-damaged lungs and signed resolutions calling for reduction in coal usage;
2. Renewable Energy: built a field of pinwheels, attended a wedding ceremony of the Earth Princess and Renewable Energy Prince;
3. Artivism: had portraits with climate change theme drawn by talented artists, painted energy symbols in neon colors onto body;
4. Film: watched meaningful short films about climate change;

as well as participated in exciting environmental games and quizzes.

The music concert was held from 19:00 to 21:00, and was joined by more than 20 acclaimed artists and bands, who are ambassadors and supporters of 350.org Vietnam: singers Thanh Bui, Ha Okio, Hoang Bach, My Le, Pham Anh Khoa & PAK Band, Thao Trang, Mai Khoi, Uyen Linh, Hoang Quyen, Vu Cat Tuong, Tien Tien, Bich Ngoc Idol, Nguyen Dinh Thanh Tam, Tang Nhat Tue, rapper Tien Dat, DJ Tri Minh, DJ Duc Thien & DJ Windy Nguyen, Alex Tu dance group, Dancenter, New Green, and MC Nguyet Anh. Furthermore, audience got a glimpse of the upcoming feature film “Nuoc 2030” (Water 2030) by renowned director Nguyen Vo Nghiem Minh, which hypothesizes Southern Vietnam in the 2030s, when the water levels have risen due to climate change, causing as much as half the farmland to be submerged. This film has received the Best Feature Film Award at San Pedro International Film Festival.

“Nuoc 2030 came from a simple idea: What will happen to our country in 2030? I think the ongoing climate change is the result of the atmospheric pollutions from the industrial revolution that was started in Europe and North America in the 19th century. But it can cause huge impacts to the lives of people living in Southern Vietnam half the sphere away, and 200 years later. Our planet is in fact very small, and we all have to share responsibility in protecting our common environment. It’s my honor to share about Nuoc 2030 at this event, so that young people can be better aware of the issue and take appropriate actions”, said Director Nguyen Vo Nghiem Minh.

Another highlight of the show, was when participants joined the artists and organizers for photographs with banners, and together shouted out messages and chanting demanding governments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, by divesting from fossil fuels, re-investing in renewable energy, and providing climate finance for developing nations. Photos and footages of this section are expected to be shared widely on various global channels to deliver the Vietnamese demand to COP21.

“Power Up uses arts and creativity, and engages popular artists, because it’s the best way to convey the “boring” energy and climate change messages to the Vietnamese public”, said Hong Hoang, Executive Director of CHANGE. “I hope that through this event, the youths will be inspired to speak up, take action, and join the global community in solving the climate crisis which is the largest common threat in this century.”

For pre-event promotion, CHANGE/350.org Vietnam organized a series of interactive activities at different universities, FPT University, Hoa Sen University, University of Natural Resources and Environment etc, and engaged thousands of youths on social media.

The Climate Action Festival POWER UP has received support from great partners: 350.org, Global Greengrants Fund, Dragon Capital Group, the Embassy of Germany, the Consulate General of France, LIN, EXO Foundation, SOUL Academy, RABBAT, TicketBox, Cargo Event Space, Pasteur Street Brewing Company, Think in a Box, and Dancenter.

For more information, please visit Facebook page of CHANGE https://www.facebook.com/CHANGEvn, 350.org Vietnam https://www.facebook.com/vietnam350 or website https://changevn.org and https://350.org.vn