Youths of COP: A brief Q&A with people met at COP23.
Q: Please tell me about yourself.
A: I am Nagisa, the former representative of Climate Youth Japan. In 2012, I attended in COP18 and it was my first time to be involved in world youth climate activities. Trough the experience of COP, I found that we have the great potential and plenty of chances to take action for our future. On the other hand, I also felt that the presence of Japanese youths was a little weaker compared to others, which is why I decided to be a part of climate activism. Now, I’m studying international studies at the University of Tokyo as a master student and working on some climate-related research projects such as climate-induced migration in Pacific islands and climate risk insurance in Southeast Asia. Due to climate change, the frequency and intensity of natural disaster are supposed to be increasing, which leads to serious impacts on vulnerable communities in developing regions. Keeping my eyes not only on the global context of climate change but also on people who are affected by climate change is my motto.
Q: What inspired you to be involved in the fight against climate change?
A: Youth is what exactly inspired me! We can collaborate beyond the border to achieve our ambitious goal, “climate justice”. I always imagine the future world where we are initiating our own countries. We can definitely make a difference in this world if we successfully keep our mind and ambition.
Q: Is there any projects you are currently undertaking that you would like to highlight?
A: Now, we Climate Youth Japan is committing to Olympics in 2020, which is supposed to be taken place in Tokyo. We’re going to make it “Susteinalympics”, which means incorporating the view of sustainability into the world biggest sports festival and build a youth legacy for the following future. Through getting inspiration from Japanese youth’s action and thinking of the future of youth from different backgrounds, we attempt to make it real in 2020.
Q: What recommendation would you give to youths attending COP?
A: What I want to advice is that you should make it clear what kind of topics you are interested, that is specifying your objective is a key tip. As you probably know, COP has so many formal/ informal meetings and side events as well. Your days will basically be filled with plans, and it’s still too hard to track negotiation because there are so many topics being dealt with in COP. In my case, I focused on Loss and Damage and attended all open meetings and side events associated with it. (I also recommend you to read some negotiation drafts before COP just to get used to technical terms…) However, keeping your interest broader to some extent and being open-minded is also important. COP is a great chance to get to know about various organizations tackling climate change, and you might discover your future career path.
Q: What are the key messages you would like to share with youths in general?
A: We have a great role in being the connection between our generation and the future generation. I believe that we youths can change our society and even our world if we can cooperate with each other and involve people by showing our passion. I really hope you guys are continuously working on climate change and broaden our network on the global scale, and approach people locally at the same time!
Content and Media provided by Nagisa Yoshioka
Edited and Arranged by Xiandi