An Outsider’s Experience

Whenever I am asked about my trip to Poland, my response is short and to the point.  Quite opposite, as I soon learned, to everything that is Climate Change.

As a young person I see life as many would think as “having their whole life ahead of them”. My interest and passion to the current state of our planet was simply a self-reflection.  What life do I want to live in the next 20 years? What will be left behind when I pass? That obviously is this planet and with that I intend to leave it in better condition than I found it.

As I attended several side events that ran parallel to the main negotiations happening in the Stadium, I began to realize a lot of things.  As both a youth and unaccredited member, you have this notion of “behind closed doors”. At least I did, and I am happy to say that I was wrong.  At these summits and/or conferences, schedules were set and never kept to.  Largely due to the amount of conversations that would go on during the coffee breaks.

After having several conversations with other attendees, I began to notice that everyone is here because they too want to do something about climate change.  Not only is the want for action there, but they also have a lot to say.

In each event, there is a specific theme, some on public health, others on business.  Ultimately all share a goal to finding solutions.  There is no one simple solution to climate change.  Having conversations and negotiations are important and I’ve come to the conclusion that we, youth, will be the ones to actually do something.  We are the ones in the present who have years still ahead of them.  We are the ones who relate best to both ends of the generation gap.

To be part of the UWSCD during my first year of university has turned out to be my own personal step forward in answering my question to what I want the world to be when I grow up.  There are no easy solutions to climate change and that is why when I am asked about my trip I reply with: “Both frustrating and enlightening”.

People will say you can’t solve climate change overnight but I think with the efforts being done currently by those heads of states, and negotiators around the table, alongside the determined leaders and innovators of tomorrow, youth, that maybe by the time that we are in their shoes and their seats we will have solved Climate change.


Author: Sarah Lukaszczyk

Picture Credit: Rob Gonsalves, Huckleberry Fine Art Gallery


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