What YOU-th can do?

Inevitably, youth are more creative and enthusiastic when comes to addressing an issue. Youth are believed to be the key players in reaching innovative, inspiring and ambitious climate change solution.

This article is a compilation of interview answer answered by a group of youth i met in COP21. Feel free to read about what YOU-th can do in UNFCCC negotiation process or what can they contribute in their country. The list is still on-going. For quick reading, you may read from here

Nor Lastrina Hamid

Lastrina

Lastrina

“Going to COP made me realise on the need for youths to have continuous engagement with policy makers, not just once a year at COP, but all year long.” 

Lastrina is from Singapore and she is the co-founder for Singapore Youth for Climate Action (SYCA). SYCA is a platform for young Singapore residents to join hands in action in response to climate change.

How do you get to know about climate change?
Through volunteering and being exposed to environmental and Climate change issues.

What are the major / potential climate change induced disasters that may affect your country?
Fresh water supply becoming limited, Sea level rise and Food security

What is your 1st impression/thought when you first know about climate change?
Climate Change = Singapore getting hotter!

What is your expectation towards COP21 and does your expectation met?
I had expected to see the adoption of a global agreement. Yes my expectation was met. Background context, because I attended Lima last year and I saw there was a draft, all the more I expected the completed agreement this year.

In 3 sentences, briefly describe your experience in COP21
COP was a good reminder for me on the importance of global agreements AND the value of compromise so that globally we can have a more liveable world. Going to COP made me realise on the need for youths to have continuous engagement with policy makers, not just once a year at COP, but all year long.  I feel what would make me feel more satisfied is that day when we don’t have to have another COP.

What is your opinion on how youth voice can be heard in UNFCCC negotiation process?
Aside from making interventions or joining in actions, I think for youths to be heard at UNFCCC, we can also try to be friends with our negotiators team and let them know our thoughts.

What is SYCA contribution towards Singapore on climate change?
SYCA is coming up with learning and leadership development program for youths interested to take climate action! It’s experiential learning; they will be exposed to various climate related issues, get to build up their leadership skills and develop their own good habits!

What is your motto in combating climate change?
Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls. – Joseph Campbell

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Natalie Lucas

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Natalie

“there were a lot of closed door conversations, and that made it hard to follow the negotiations.”

Natalie Lucas is from United States and she is a member in Care About Climate. Care About Climate works to minimize human contributions to climate change and empower communities by uniting people across the world.

How do you get to know about climate change?
School

What are the major / potential climate change induced disasters that may affect your country?
Wildfire, hurricanes, sea level rise, drought, flooding

What is your 1st impression/thought when you first know about climate change?
Drought and destruction of forests

What is your expectation towards COP21 and does your expectation met?
I expected an agreement that has pledges and we got that. I did not expect it to be as good of an agreement as it was.

In 3 sentences, briefly describe your experience in COP21
It was a good experience overall. I was only in one week, and wish there had been more spots for people to observe the negotiations. This was also a strange COP because there were a lot of closed door conversations, and that made it hard to follow the negotiations.

What is your opinion on how youth voice can be heard in UNFCCC negotiation process?
Through lobbying, observation, placement on delegations, and access to leaders

What is Care for Climate contribution towards United States on climate change?
We have a climate symbol to show that individuals care about climate. People can use this on their laptops, bikes, cars and other items to show they want climate action.

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Delphine Blumereau

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Delphine

“Humans are in a way clever, in a way surprisingly stupid not to realise that they are destroying their way of lives. Denial and sadness for human beings were my first reactions.”

Delphine is from France and she is current President of CliMates. CliMates strive to keep inspiring youth around the world to think, act and promote innovative solutions to climate change.

How do you get to know about climate change?
I read newspapers (national newspapers and specialized newspapers) and I watch videos of experts

What are the major / potential climate change induced disasters that may affect your country?
Droughts and heat waves

What is your 1st impression/thought when you first know about climate change?
Humans are in a way clever, in a way surprisingly stupid not to realise that they are destroying their way of lives. Denial and sadness for human beings were my first reactions.

What is your expectation towards COP21 and does your expectation met?
An ambitious agreement that embodies the massive dynamic that has been launched over the year 2015 to send signals to all investors and actors that key players are changing their investments and projection in the future towards a low carbon economy. The COP21 did meet my expectations.

In 3 sentences, briefly describe your experience in COP21
I attended daily morning meetings of YOUNGO and got involved in different actions. I followed up the Climate Action Network (CAN) and discovered their high-standing lobbying. I felt a bit left apart from the process by being not allowed to observe negotiations but for the best as it helped the negotiation process to live the doors closed.

What is your opinion on how youth voice can be heard in UNFCCC negotiation process?
Young people do many actions to show their expectations and influence the media. They could be more efficiently heard if we had a communication team that would systematically contact newspaper to reach them out when we do an action or produce press releases. The youth voice is not sufficiently well organised regarding the media. However, I believe that YOUNGO is overall well organized and very active. By being more involved in the CAN, YOUNGO could also influence better the negotiations.

What is CliMates contribution towards France on climate change?
Raising awareness through action projects (Innov City, COP in MyCity, Heatwave in MyCity) which are fun and innovative way to enable young people to experience (and not only listen to) what is climate change. We also conduct research project – two research projects were produced this year in partnership with Sciences Po University and the think-tank La Fabrique Ecologique. We also co-organized the 11th Conference of Youth, which gathered around 7000 young people in Paris. Lastly, we have been particularly active and present at all the major conferences on climate change this year. Our association gained in visibility by speaking out our stands and ways of working for raising awareness in the public debate.

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Annabelle Acton-Bond

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Annabelle

“COP was something I had dreamed of being part of for years, and I felt privileged to be there, especially when so many people were unable to get accreditation or visas”

Annabelle is from United Kingdom and she is a member of UK Youth Climate Coalition.She was part of the international delegation on the inside and outside of COP21.

How do you get to know about climate change?
I knew about climate change since secondary school. After that I get to learn more through my own involvement in the climate movement – campaigning, through the UKYCC and other organisations such as People and Planet.

What are the major / potential climate change induced disasters that may affect your country?
Flooding

What is your 1st impression/thought when you first know about climate change?
Responsibility

What is your expectation towards COP21 and does your expectation met?
I expected it to be overwhelming, busy, learn lots and meet a lot of people, to have some kind of presence as UK youth, follow negotiations and talk to negotiators. These were met, but I did find I was frustrated not to be allowed into negotiations and even to follow certain meetings. I also felt it was more difficult to have a presence and a real impact with negotiators, since civil society mainly stayed in Hall 4 instead of the country delegation hall(s).

In 3 sentences, briefly describe your experience in COP21
COP was something I dreamed of being part of for years, and the more I learned about it, the more privileged I felt to be there. It was intense, very busy, stressful, an emotional rollercoaster, exciting, frustrating, depressing, confusing and inspiring… Despite the frustrating, flawed process of the UNFCCC, it is the people you meet there, the community and connections made, everything you learn, the chance to make a youth presence felt through interventions, actions, press conferences and direct lobbying/conversations with negotiators that makes it worthwhile.

What is your opinion on how youth voice can be heard in UNFCCC negotiation process?
I think we need to make more use of interventions, actions, press conferences, negotiator lobbying, and collaboration with other civil society groups (eg CAN). However, we are limited in terms of real, active participation, as is much of civil society. We need to be creative and unafraid of the UNFCCC and trying to fit in. As young people we need to be confident that through our energy, imagination and ideals we bring something valuable to the negotiations. We are there to confront and shout about deceptive, hypocritical nonsense that goes on inside and around the COPs. I don’t think we always help ourselves by trying to look, act and sound like mini-negotiators. I think we need to be bolder. Finally, I think it helps to be realistic in where our strengths lie, and aware that we will accomplish more sometimes in focusing on other areas such as media coverage, communicating what is going on with the rest of the world and engaging with other young people who are not involved in the COP.

What is UKYCC contribution towards UK on climate change?
The UKYCC has a UK team that campaign on various issues including fracking. (more info on our website – ukycc.org)

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津田啓生 (Hiroki Tsuda)

Hiroki

Hiroki

“I think each country’s youths have power to their government”

Hiroki is from Japan and he is a member of Climate Youth Japan (CYJ) CYJ aim to realize the balanced and sustainable society by leading climate change issues to the resolution.

How do you get to know about climate change?
When i was an elementary student, my mother tells me as one of the themes of homework.

What are the major / potential climate change induced disasters that may affect your country?
Food crisis

What is your 1st impression/thought when you first know about climate change?
I could not understand why global warming is bad.

What is your expectation towards COP21 and does your expectation met?
I wanted to see the moment of agreement and I expected Paris agreement to have “zero emission at the end of the century”.

In 3 sentences, briefly describe your experience in COP21
I learned that the world leaders really desire to transform the world toward decarbonisation – It is not a myth anymore. I also knew that NGO play an important role in COP negotiation. I felt that Japan is not affecting COP negotiation.

What is your opinion on how youth voice can be heard in UNFCCC negotiation process?
I think each country’s youths have power to their government.

How active is youth participation in Japan for climate change related issue?
Youth action is not active because Japanese youth is not interested in social issue. But these days, the number of CYJ members is increasing. So, the awareness is building and the action is getting more active

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