After the opening plenary I was able to explore the Conference Center with our delegation – or rather, we had to explore the center in order to be able to properly navigate COP18 for the next week. The QNCC is a massive building that can take upwards of 20 minutes to travel, a fact I unfortunately only learned after arriving late to my YOUNGO meeting. YOUNGO is the youth constituency at COP18 that works to unite young participants of the UNFCCC to lobby delegates and further youth interests in the negotiations. YOUNGO is divided into various different working groups, including the Finance division, which I am a member to. We met as a group to discuss our roles in the negotiations and how we, as youth, can effectively get a say in the process. We decided to focus on the Green Climate Fund, a financial mechanism used to fund projects in developing countries, in particular where the money will come from, and how it will be allocated. I will be working with the Allocations subgroup and will be following up on progress during the course of the week!
Immediately following the Finance Working Group concluded, we rushed to meet other YOUNGO members for a meeting with Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC. We chatted with her about how youth can effectively make an impact at COP18. Although she urged us to find the solutions, she mentioned that youth do in fact have quite an influence on the negotiators as well as the general atmosphere of the conference. It was an honor to meet with her and we all felt encouraged by her support.