COY13 Day One – Youth and Climate Action

I was wide awake at 6am as jet lag still consumed me, it was 1pm Malaysian timing. The team started off the day early for it’s Day One of COY13. I left my accommodation and embarked my way to the main Bonn station at 7.45am. At the main station, I met up with Azam and Mike and we departed to the IGS, the COY13 venue together.

Azam figuring out which tram line to use to get to IGS

The COY13 atmosphere was buzzing with excited youth, eager to start their day and met lots of like-minded youth from all over the world. As soon as the three of us arrived, we checked in with Mike and I making our way to the PR Office, situated upstairs.

The day kicked off with an opening ceremony. One of the hosts was a Malaysian himself! Our very own Amalen, a recipient of the Global South Scholarship. The opening highlighted the Local COY, the theme for this year’s COY and YOUNGO intro session by Yugratna and Nouhad. Nouhad pointed out something very important, which was the crucial need of global south to be more engaged with YOUNGO and the negotiation process of the UNFCCC and COP. However, the Global South are having challenges in terms of participation due to financial constraints and only have limited accreditation bodies for badges.

Opening ceremony of COY13

Lunch was served. All food that was served at the COY13 was vegetarian – an effort to lower the meat consumption and carbon footprint. Mike and I sat beside Plant for the Planet, who is currently running a campaign that engages youth globally to express their efforts in creating a better future. We were then filmed to be part of the campaign, which will be shown at COP Bula Zone.

Interview by Plant for Planet

As part of the COY13 PR-Team, I was tasked to take pictures, covering slots of the programme for the purpose of media, social media and public relations. There are about 13 people in charged of photography, including myself and Mike, and about 33 people in the PR-Team altogether. Mike and I are the only Asian representatives in the team, with majority of the team are Germans, and some represented by Klimareporter from Austria.

Having participated in COY12 at Marrakech (read the article here), I took interest in COY13 with an open mind and no expectations as I didn’t have a pleasant time last year. However, I am quite happy at how COY has upped their game this year, with (most of) the programmes well managed. Truly, it is really refreshing and motivating to see youths from all over the world uniting for a same cause, fighting for a climate just future.

Team picture with the COY13 PR Team

As the chant goes,

“What do we want?”

“Climate Justice!”

“When do we want it?”

“Now!”

Written by Jasmin

Edited by Varun

 

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