YouTube users will notice a new icon at the top of the video platform this week as part of a new campaign to highlight how climate change “affects the things we love.”
In the lead-up to the high-stakes U.N. Paris Climate Summit that will start on Nov. 30, YouTube has launched the #OursToLose campaign, showcasing videos about climate change and the environment, and encouraging its mostly youthful users to get involved in the issue.
The new polar bear and globe icons at the top of the homepage lead users to the YouTube Spotlight page, which features curated videos on a range of related topics, from understanding global warming’s implications for future generations to visual explanations of the science behind climate change.
To inspire additional support, a “Sign the Petition” button appears at the top of the Spotlight page, linking to advocacy organization Avaaz.org’s “Mega Climate Petition for a 100% Clean World.” Avaaz will deliver the petition to world leaders during the climate talks in Paris; at the time of writing, the petition has more than 3.1 million signatures, and has a goal of 3.5 million.
Several popular YouTube creators have joined the campaign from around the world, including Casey Neistat (U.S.), Finn Harries (UK), Golden Moustache (France), Jamie Curry (New Zealand) and Flavia Calina (Brazil). To spread awareness, these YouTube stars participated in the designated campaign video above.
— YouTube (@YouTube) November 23, 2015
“The YouTube community can empower tremendous collaboration, advocacy, and creativity,” programming coordinator Marc Hertz and associate product marketing manager Aaron Taylor wrote in a blog post on Monday.
“Through #OursToLose, we hope to continue helping people to broadcast their message, empower their communities and even catalyze a global movement to further action on climate change.”
For Avaaz, such digital mobilizations could be increasingly important, especially as in-person efforts like the Global Climate March will no longer take place as planned in Paris, due to the city’s terror attacks that took place on Nov. 13.
But Bert Wander, campaign director at Avaaz, said that the attacks haven’t changed the organization’s strategy very much.
“We still have hundreds of thousands of people planning to join one of more than 2,000 marches happening in countries all over the world, and digital actions have always been a core part of how we work,” he said. “It’s not either online or offline — it’s both.”
But the collaboration with YouTube, he said, is a good way to offer many more people the chance to join the campaign for 100% clean energy.
Meanwhile, several other campaigns — like the efforts of international environmental group 350.org and Conservation International’s new short film starring Liam Neeson as ‘Ice’ — are also trying to galvanize people at a grassroots level.
The #OursToLose campaign will run on YouTube until the start of the summit next week.
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