From Copenhagen to Cancun

I have to admit, up until a week ago I was questioning my choice to jet off to Cancun for the COP (Conference of Parties). As a Copenhagen survivor I know what a COP can do to your soul and to some people giving it another go would be enough to diagnose you as temporarily insane! Sitting in the hostel in downtown Cancun surrounded by other CYDers engrossed in discussion or concentrated at their computers as they Tweet, blog, or edit the policy paper was so surreal to me. It seems like just yesterday I was sitting in Copenhagen in the same situation – except we had a fire burning in our woodstove rather than our doors wide open to catch any breeze that might go by. Copenhagen was an exhaustingly exhilarating experience and, although I loved every moment, it was also disheartening to say the least. So as one of the three returning CYD members you could say I have quite a different perspective – the Copenhagen to Cancun perspective.

Despite my previous experience, I still feel overwhelmed and totally unsure about where I fit in this circus. I’ve spent the past few days really trying to sort out my purpose and goals for being here and (after some reflection by the poolside) it has become clear to me why making the decision to give it another go was a good choice.

I am here to remind delegates at the conference that climate change is not a policy issue…it is a human issue. And it is UNBELIEVABLE that the people who are suppose to be our world leaders have failed to come to a solution. More importantly, I am also here to connect Canadians with the decision-making that impacts each and every one of us. And while I’m doing this I get to learn from the 28 other amazing CYDers and other international youth! So although I might be slightly jaded, I still feel the significance and value of putting my sweat and blood into what might seem like a hopelessly complicated mess that we like to call COP. I can’t and I won’t give up on this process.

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