We are live! The Faculty of Environment is now reporting from Paris.
What a weekend it has been! From strategizing with youth across the globe at the COY11 to meeting Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde and Minister Catherine McKenna (among other Canadian VIPs) – it has truly been a remarkable start to this climate adventure.
First thing’s first – what is COY11? The 11th Conference of Youth is an annual gathering of youth from around the globe to connect, strategize and creatively craft solutions before COP begins. I was reppin’ the Faculty of Environment and Youth Arctic Coalition – and attempted to share hilarious updates through the Faculty’s Snapchat (are you following!? If not – you should…)
COY11 was truly engaging and inspiring. There, I met youth who were similarly passionate about climate change and wanted to make a difference. I began working with the policy group under YOUNGO (the official youth constituency of the UNFCCC), where we drafted a policy statement on the issue of loss and damage to present to negotiators during COP21. Our goal? Prove to our decision-makers that young people care and expect meaningful action on these issues.
COY was an unbelievable experience and set the stage for how we, as Climate Students, can utilize our knowledge to contribute to the climate talks.
And, after COY? I was joined by fellow Climate Student Alexandra Graham at the Canadian Meet and Greet event (Minister McKenna invited all Canadian delegates to COP21!). There, we met the Canadian VIPs (minus our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau) for an evening of great discussion and delicious hors-d’oeuvres. Among those present, we were able to chat with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne; Federal Minister for the Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna; Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde.
To top off the day? Alex and I contributed to the United Nations Development Programme’s #1o5C Campaign to highlight the importance of keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius (instead of current goal of 2C). Read more: http://www.1o5c.org/.
With such an exciting start to COP21, we can’t wait for the next few weeks.
Join us on our #UWCOP21 journey by following our social media streams for more information and live updates! We¹ll be sharing all sorts of exciting content – from photos and videos, to blog posts, snapchat stories, live tweets and more!
Note: If you’re sharing any sort of COP21 or climate change related content or opinions on your personal social media accounts, we encourage you to use our hashtag #UWCOP21 to help us spread the word. We’ll also be able to re-share your content this way.
Watch the video about the Conference of Youth’s support for #1o5C
This piece was written by Dominique Souris
Dominique is in her final year of the Environment and Resource Studies program. She is accredited with the Seychelles delegation for COP21 and will support both the UW delegation and Youth Arctic Coalition. Dominique will also be conducting her thesis research focused on the barriers to meaningful progress on the issue of loss and damage in UNFCCC negotiations.