From Copenhagen to Cancun: I’m back baby!
First day in the conference center and, to my surprise, it feels like home! Thanks to my experience in Copenhagen at COP15, I have a much better understanding of the entire process and how to navigate the UN waters. In my mind there are about 7 different spheres here:– Negotiations (the actual formal meetings that we try to follow to understand what is being discussed and decided)
– Side Events (more like what you would experience at a normal conference where there are sessions with speakers and workshops)
– Actions (one of the important roles that only youth can fill is that of conducting actions within the conference center to send messages and get media attention on various issues important to us)
– Working groups (within the CYD we have our own groups – policy, actions, media, communications, and capacity and education – the international youth as a collective also have similar groups to collaborate and work together)
– Meetings (never a lack of meetings to go to whether they are with NGOs, other youth, negotiators, etc.)
– Blogging etc. (a big part of the CYD’s work is to blog, facebook, tweet, write newsletters, and record podcasts to get the news back home!)
– Taking it all in (there are lots of displays and booths to peruse for general interest)
It is IMPOSSIBLE to do all these things…rather you have to decide what your specific goals are and then choose wisely. Today I’ve gone to a meeting with other international youth working on a certain part of the negotiations concerned with education and participation of youth. I also participated in an action with other international youth. It is Young and Future Generations day at the conference and so we all have blue shirts and lined the hallway leading out to the buses that all the delegates take to the second building where most of the negotiations happen. I also went to some meeting between NGOs to brief us on the recent progress as well as attended a formal negotiation meeting which was almost incomprehensible. So overall it was a great day and I am SO happy to be here!
I myself feel like I can be the most effective doing actions and blogging. The meetings, negotiations, and side events are an enriching addition but more for information than having impact. That said, I want to take this opportunity to highlight some of the main issues that have been brought to my attention:
- There is discussion around trying to structure a second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol but Japan and some other countries are not in favour. Rather they support the Copenhagen Accord because they say it covers more countries. I myself would support a second commitment period if adjustments could be made and more countries sign on.
- Another issue is the gigatonne gap – the gap between the amount of emission reductions that countries have pledged to reduce and the amount of reductions that is required to achieve a max of 2˚C rise in global average temperature.
I’m going to sign off for now – after what has been an awesome day of returning to my UN groove I’m looking forward to my final day in the conference center tomorrow!
PS. I’d love to answer any questions you have about the UN, the CYD, Cancun, whatever! Just leave a comment or get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org