We “scuttle” our way to YOUNGO room to have a skype session with a group of high school youths from Germany!
I panicked and became anxious as I stared at my brightly lit laptop screen. I did not know what to share. Thoughts that were running in my head.
My experiences at COP21? I think everything happened in the blink of an eye. My first week was somewhat confusing owing to many negotiations and side events were occurring concurrently, there were just too many things to focus on at one time. I was excited but was quickly drained out as well.
Nonetheless, I am glad that we were able to have a quick conversation with the high school youths. They inspired me with their enthusiasm and curiosity; a strong desire to learn something. For me, it is the curious mind that inspires humanity; to transcribe dreams into reality. With curious mind, born the vision to build sustainable dreams on this ever so realistic earth.
Sharing some of my COP21 experiences here:-
- COP21 – encompasses of UN team, negotiators, civil society organizations and youth! Youth are the catalyst. They are the one that can help to fill the gap and build a network that connects and holds stakeholders together. These actions can be direct, i.e. MYD member recent participation in giving interventions on behalf of the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) during SBSTA Closing Plenary or subtle i.e. MYD members direct engagement with some of our Malaysian negotiators throughout the whole COP21. Throughout the COP21, MYD has organized several impromptu meetups with our negotiators and Malaysian CSOs to strengthen the bond and to understand the UNFCCC process.
- Climate mobilizations do make an impact! At COP21, YOUNGO is an official youth constituency under UNFCCC. Youth from various organizations including MYD members are given the opportunity to participate their daily meetings and action working groups to coordinate mobilizations actions in COP21. Thanks to their consistent lobbies along with other CSOs in COP21, strong scientific evidences and pressures from the vulnerable countries throughout negotiation processes; the world manage to set new REAL temperature targets in the latest adopted Paris Agreement – to limit the global warming by 2 degree Celsius and aiming for 1.5 degree Celsius.
- Active Climate Actions all year round! If you want to make a change, it requires persistence. You need to keep pursuing what you believe with sensibility. Every great work sparks from your own desire to explore. Then, your choices to search for like-minded people or projects within your community
MYD team was formed in June 2015 and we were given 6 months of preparatory journey to COP21. Throughout the 6 months, MYD has successfully organized a training series with various experts from various backgrounds (e.g. climate scientists, Malaysia’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, climate journalists, CSOs, policymakers, etc) at Malaysia. We also proudly produced and submitted our Youth Statement on Climate Change towards COP21 to our Prime Minister. As a team, we are able to establish our presence at local, regional and international climate events such as Power Shift Malaysia, Asean Power Shift at Singapore and Conference of Youth (COY11) at Paris.
These are just several experiences we have thus far. For post-COP21, MYD members are ready to engage and share their COP21 experiences with their people back home in hope to educate the public and raise another team of youth to understand climate science and policy as well as the infamous UNFCCC process.
In my opinion, effective teamwork and continuous engagement with all stakeholders intergenerationally are essential in order to make bigger impacts on combating climate change.
Hence, thank you students of Leonardo da Vinci High School for giving us this opportunity to share our experiences with you via Skype and vice versa. I hope we can hear more from our readers too! If you have any climate initiatives’ experiences / collaborations you want to share with us. Email to us firstname.lastname@example.org and we are happy to engage!
Written by: Jolene Journe Tan.