My Personal Story
I’m standing here as part of the Canadian Youth Delegation today because I believe in building a youth climate movement of solidarity that goes beyond frontiers, nationalities, cultures and across continents.
I was raised with a strong background in social issues and gender because my mother was the Dean of graduate studies at the university in my hometown for 10 years. I remember going to my mom’s classes and learning about critical theory and environmental education and I always wondered about ways to fix the poverty in Mexico. Mexico is a place with stark divide of classes and vast natural resources, we have the richest man in the world but we also have a lot of poverty. I believe that being raised in this environment was a decisive factor in my decision to study environmental studies and political science for my undergraduate degree.
As an international student originally from Mexico and studying in Canada I belong to two different worlds which provide me with different perspectives regarding climate change and social justice. I come from a country where the most vulnerable people are already suffering because of the droughts and floods caused by climate change which is unleashing even greater levels of economical instability and social insecurity. At the same time, studying in Canada since my last year of high school, has give me a sense of belonging within the multiculturalism in Canada but has also allowed me to learn about the misuse of natural resources and the influence of the fossil fuel industry in Canadian politics. Living within these two worlds has allowed me to experience in real life the dynamics and the systemic oppression of climate injustice happening in the world which is ultimately reflected in the UNFCCC process today. Although developing countries are the most affected by climate change and the least responsible for creating this crisis, they are forced into liberal policies which are detrimental for their environment, their economy and their people. In the other side, rich developed nations who have a historical responsibility are being influenced by the fossil fuel industry and will not reduce their GHG emissions or take on commitments that could benefit developing countries.
Attending to this COP18 has changed radically my views with regards to the UNFCCC process and its capacity to reduce global emissions considering the fact that it is tainted by national interests and the private corporate interests also. After two weeks at COP18 and working in solidarity with youth organizations from all over the world on the climate legacy campaign has allowed me to realize about our own potential to change our system. We all want to hold our government accountable and we all want to fight for a future that is more sustainable, just and equitable for everybody in the planet.