“My first COY was in 2009 and our purpose was to learn how YOUNGO work and how the international youth climate movement works. My purpose to COY-Tokyo was to help and facilitate a COY in East Asia and strategically to support the march in Tokyo for Global Climate March moment, which is part of Road through Paris plan with 350.org. Now there are more than 10+ student clubs working with Taiwan Youth Climate Coalition which is the national youth climate organization and is the first youth-led environmental NGO. We had trained more than 1000 youths to our yearly youth climate gathering in July.
Taiwan is yet an official member of UNFCCC which is improper, we hope we can loop Taiwan in the Framework to keep Taiwan’s Carbon emission to Paris Agreement and more to have its legally binding to international community. Youth power and consistence are both keys for me to maintain myself to climate issue. It is hard for everyone to attend all the COP/COY meetings, but we can follow from the previous participants to learn before we are heading.
We just had our 1st NO Coal march in Taiwan aiming for the Presidential election in Jan 2016, and soon we will have Anti-coal youth trainings around Taiwan in 2016 on planning.We want to face out fossil fuel through divestment approach and saving electricity to push government toward 100% renewables and green investment.”
– Liang-Yi Chang from Taiwan
“I’m a MSc student. My purpose in COP21 is to show support to the cause at COP and prove that impossible things can be done. Intensification of El Nino and other climate effects leading to annual floods/more storms/intense drought is happening in my country. I am not well read on this but government has allocated budget in 2016 to establish National Disaster Management Agency and flood mitigation projects.
I think we can improve the youth participation in UNFCCC by improve awareness through dialogues with local youth groups. I feel youth participation is important but not necessarily involving sending youth to COP, there is much work to be done in the ASEAN/Asian region.”
– Quek Yew Aun from Malaysia
“I am a former environment reporter with Channel News Asia and graduate from the London School of Economics. Currently running a start-up consultancy for NGOs, Game Changerz, she is focused on running effective advocacy campaigns, recognising that first-world urbanites have every role to play in the fight against global issues, from climate change to extreme poverty.
My team went to COP21 to connect with other civil society groups, engage with our negotiators and ministers, attend side events that are of relevance to the Singapore context and communicate our insights of being there in the COP event. Personally, I was very keen to meet the 10,000+ climate heroes who flew to Paris from around the world. It is a rare opportunity to learn from experts! As a low-lying island state, we will have to adapt to sea level rise, which will be very costly. This year, we saw an extended El Nino which gave us a bad bout of haze. Singapore will be affected by food security issues too.
From COP21, I learnt that there are so many ways to join this fight against climate change! You don’t even need to be a nature-lover. For example, the divestment movement, or green finance, are all relatively new movements which has great potential to change things — but isn’t considered ‘environmental movement’ in the traditional sense. There are many exciting things brewing in other societies which Singapore can learn from.”
– Chong Youwen (Melissa) from Singapore
“I’m a climate activist in Brazil, and my purpose of going to COP21 is to work with YOUNGO. Brazil faces droughts and floods that are induced by climate change. My organization, Engajamundo works to empower young people on the ground and to increase youth political influence in decision making processes.
I think the youth participation in Brazil is increasingly active. To increase youth participation in UNFCCC, we should translate how climate change will impact youth in their realities and get more funding so that we (the youths) can participate at negotiations.”
– Beatriz Azevedo de Araujo from Brazil
Interview done by Elaine