Making The Most of It
By Lars Boggild,
These last couple of days have been busy, but useful. I’ve been attending the Conference of Youth (COY6) in the lead up to the United Nations Climate Negotiations (COP16). This pre-conference is really where the International Youth Climate Movement that attends these meetings gets its act together to ensure we have a successful presence and a powerful voice during the negotiations.
I’ve been meeting people from all over the world, and it’s simply amazing to be around people as immersed in these meetings as I strive to be. Yesterday I had the opportunity to take in a workshop on the basics of the UNFCCC process. Initially, I thought it was all stuff I’d known before, but once it really started getting unpacked our presenter’s experience with past meetings showed as he told us what to look out for, and where particular issues really get brought up. The Youth Climate Movement has an incredible amount of knowledge, from media strategy to hard policy knowledge, and we certainly don’t stand quietly on the sidelines.
Most importantly, these last couple of days have been pivotal in helping us all find our niche, especially for those of us who are first time participants. There is simply more going on then any one person can absorb, just take a look at the number of side events! To make the best use of your time at a meeting this large, in a system this complex, you need to find a role and do your best within that. I think it’s a big part of being individually successful, while contributing to the overall success of this movement. I know that I’ve been concentrating more on the youth interventions than other activities in the lead up. This is where the youth voice gets truly heard within the conference, as we are given time at the podium to voice our concerns within the main meetings. There are also amazing activities, such as the “Fossil of the Day” awards, awards that illustrate the most destructive actor each day (awards which Canada is often the recipient of ), that I hope to be involved with.
I’m just about to start my third day at COY, and I can’t wait to continue to explore what’s available to do and see. There is so much that’s possible, I hope we can make the most of it.