Youths of COP: A brief Q&A with people met at COP23.
Q: Please tell me about yourself.
A: My name is Patrick Kohl. I‘m 22 years old and I study Political Sciences and Public Law at the University of Bonn. Actually, I‘ve been only part of the climate change scene for a half year. Thus, I‘m quite new to everything related to climate. Since February, I‘m part of the Youth Alliance for Future Energies. We‘re a group of young people which has followed the UNFCCC-processes for several years now. In this year, we organized the 13th Conference of Youth (COY13).
Q: What inspired you to be involved in the fight against climate change?
A: I‘m surrounded by a lot of climate activists, who fight tirelessly for climate protection at local and regional level. Their spirit is just infectious.
Q: Did COY, in any way, made a difference in your fight against climate change?
A: Sure, it was amazing to see how 1300 young people from over 114 countries worked together to find solutions to fight climate change. No matter from which region, which skin color, which financial circumstances and which gender. Everyone is concerned and willing to change the system and save the planet. This inspired me to increase my climate action and be more determined about what I‘m doing.
Q: What is the one most interesting thing about COY?
A: I already mentioned the diverse group of participants. However, what impressed in a similar way was the work of the organization team. A group of 50 young people struggled over 10 months to organize this huge youth gathering voluntarily. We put so much effort into this and only communicated via Skype and Slack. Most of us haven‘t even met before. Nevertheless, we sticked together and care for each other. This was a truly inspiring experience.
Q: What are the key messages you would like to share with youths in general?
A: Don‘t wait to start climate action! You can start it immediately with your own personal consumption or at the local level. There are so many great initiatives in every town or village. It‘s not about saving this planet, it‘s about saving us. And this can‘t wait any longer and needs the commitment of all of us.
Content and Media Provided by Patrick Kohl
Edited and Arranged by Xiandi