Yes, this time I didn’t let the opportunity slip away.


Elaine See (MYD15) addressing the SBSTA Closing Plenary during #COP21

Fearing the pain of remorse, I forced myself to grab the intervention-given the chance when Adrian told us, that the Climate Action Network needed a female representative to deliver the speech. I was overwhelmed by the fear that my English was not good enough; paralyzed by my own hesitation and doubt to deliver a one-minute speech. However, this experience proved me wrong! Coming to the end of it, I can say it is not about asking whether I can, but how bad I want it!

When I got my intervention script and started to practice, challenges struke, and my excitement transformed into nervousness. Being tongue-tied and slow at first (need to speed up so that I can finish the intervention in one minute), I continued to practice relentlessly. “This is my only choice”, I thought to myself.

Things didn’t go smoothly ( It never seems to). When I was able to read the script nice and fluent, I began to feel a discomfort in my throat. The SBSTA closing plenary was then delayed from 4.30pm to 7pm, 8pm, and then further to 9pm. I was actually on the verge of relinquishing my task.

However, I was pumped up when I imagined myself appearing on the 4 big screens in the big plenary hall and being heard by the Parties and the Chair. Opportunity to talk at the plenary is something that many civil society members are hoping for, especially the youth, because chances of them being heard and being recognized by the convention are comparatively rare.
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My heart thumped so fast, almost jumping out of my chest, when it was my turn to give the speech! But it was such an amazing experience. I am extremely grateful to have great support from Adrian and my team. Words cannot express my indebtedness and gratitude to them for all the love, support and motivation. I wish one day I can have a deeper insight on the plenaries so I can draft the whole script on my own and present it.

Written By: Elaine See
Edited By: Merryn Choong

Full Text

Thank you Madam Chair,

I am Elaine See from Climate Action Network.

Responding to the climate crisis requires decisive action across all sectors.

But the Subsidiary Body of Science and Technological Advice (SBSTA) reports presentations demonstrate that International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and International Maritime Organisation (IMO) are failing to address the significant climate impacts of aviation and shipping.

18 years after Kyoto, these emissions are growing at a rate twice that of all other sectors. The Paris Agreement must send a clear signal that ICAO and IMO must make a fair contribution to limiting temperature increase to 1.5 degrees.

On agriculture, CAN appreciates Parties’ positive engagement in Paris.

Parties should evaluate methodologies to ensure on-the-ground results while including considerations and safeguards to protect and promote food security, biodiversity, equitable access to resources, the right to food, animal welfare, and the rights of indigenous peoples and local populations, while promoting poverty reduction and adaptation.

Ongoing efforts to ensure sufficient finance for adaptation and for a Global Goal on Adaptation should also be supported.

We request SBSTA to help identify options to enhance food security to protect the livelihoods of small-scale farmers.

Thank you.