Last year at the COP21 Climate Talks in Paris, countries forged an unprecedented agreement to keep global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius. It was the culmination of years of hard work, sweat, love, frustration, and hope from people across the world: from those on the front lines of climate change to politicians in parliaments. The Paris Agreement is not the end, though. We cannot stand idle; instead we must use the Agreement as a springboard for additional action. The agreement is an incredible, historic document, but it alone will not secure a just future. That is why, at COP22 – the first COP since the Agreement’s ratification earlier this fall – we have to advocate for more action.
In Paris last December, I worked alongside a flotilla of partners for education and youth action at COP21, as part of the #Youth4Climate initiative. At the time I was the Education Director at Earth Day Network, and Climate Generation became one of my trusted partners as we rushed from events to actions to more events. I am now a student again, working towards my Master’s degree, and I am attending COP22 as a part of Climate Generation’s intergenerational delegation to continue our work of advancing climate change education, youth engagement, and action.
When I am in Marrakech for COP22 this year, I hope to learn from, work alongside, and be inspired by people from many different walks of life; especially young people. As is often said, youth are the ones being handed this complex and daunting problem. But as young people, we refuse to be the “leaders of tomorrow;” instead, we will stand up and be leaders today. We will push our representatives for change, and act at all levels to advance climate change solutions. I looking forward to amplifying that message alongside Climate Generation.
My agenda during the Conference Nov. 7-18 is starting to book up, with different events to cover, people to connect with, listservs to sign up for, and much more. And as it goes with COP, it is always dynamic and changing. I hope that you will follow along with us, from wherever you are, and stay engaged for climate action this November.