Change Begins with Choice

Change Begins with Choice

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

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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.

Observers Conversation with Christinana Figures

Observers Conversation with Christinana Figures

“Don’t ever think words that are not exist in the agreement is not part of the solution, solution for climate change is broad”. – Christiana Figueres

christinana Figures

Christinana Figures

 I have decided to attend this session as I am very curious about the major concerns of different Civil Society Organisation (CSO) which attended COP21. Before the session started, I met with a person from Mediators Beyond Borders, who is doing mediation for negotiations. This is my first encounter and it sounds really cool to be part of the conflict management and dispute resolution for negotiations. Never thought there will be a language-based organisation for this matter.

The session started with voices from the floor. Climate Action Network (CAN) raised up the accessibility issue for observers to enter closed meetings once again. The Executive Secretary (ES) responded that currently spin-off meetings have been webcasted and overflow rooms were opened for contact groups meeting.

In addition, observers have access to the documents. I just can’t help wondering why the document isn’t open to public. Are they treating observers just like public in terms of document accessibility? When President Fabius repeatedly mentioned negotiation process should be transparent, inclusive, openness, and trust in several plenary, it created a conflict with the present situation. Fortunately, President Fabius is planning to engage with observers. Let’s hope for a better engagement between both sides.

Executive Secretary (ES) mentioned that the recent contact group meeting was suspended. This is to allow adequate time for negotiators and observers to read through latest release of text.

On behalf of YOUNGO, Lastrina raised question on how can youth & other NGO help to speed up the process in the next 24 hours. She asked if there is any possibility of arranging any meet up with negotiators to seek for inputs. Executive Secretary (ES) replied that conversation with negotiators is normally done during coffee session and casual meet ups. There are only a few delegations who have included youth in their national delegation this year. YOUNGO can lobby further regarding this issue.

She announced that Paris agreement will be adopted in Paris on next FRIDAY (11/12/15) and signed at NY next year. Therefore, Friday should be recognised as a “stay tuned” element by everyone on the floor.

In regards to this matter, I have personally met with a few youths from different countries especially those from developing and least developed countries. They were facing difficulties engaging or even contacting their home negotiation team. I felt unfair for them. I believe YOUNGO and UNFCCC secretariat could push harder in solving this problem.

Lastly, Executive Secretary (ES) explained that the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform (ADP) hasn’t reach a solution yet. Some issues are moving forward quicker than before. However, the speed needs to be moderated in order to achieve a comprehensive agreement.

Once again, Christiana emphasized that “Don’t ever think words that are not exist in the agreement is not part of the solution, solution for climate change is broad”.

 

Written by: Emily

Edited by: Ginger

My first day at COY11 Tokyo!

My first day at COY11 Tokyo!

Date: Thursday, 26th November 2015
Time: 22:13
Author: Loh Rachel, 18 (Selangor, Malaysia)
Current location: Yoyogi Olympics Memorial Youth Center (Tokyo, Japan)

First things first, hello! I’m Loh Rachel from the Malaysian Youth Delegation (MYD15) and am currently attending the Conference of Youths on Climate Change (COY11) in Tokyo! Feel free to ask me about COY11, MYD or anything at all through my social media networks.

So, I mustered a little courage today and spoke up during the roundtable discussion where we connected (via Skype) with all the COY conferences across the world in Brazil, India, Canada and France, to name a few. I was definitely nervous represent the youth voices of COY 11 Tokyo, but I am so glad I did! I always seem to have a problem voicing out my opinions to a large audience, afraid of their judgements, but I have learnt that we all deserve a voice and if you don’t speak up when necessary- you. Will. Regret. It.

Me speaking to youths at COY 11 in 8 countries across the globe!

Me speaking to youths at COY 11 in 8 countries across the globe!

One of the best parts of my day was producing part one my group’s discussion during the “Youth of East Asia Action Agenda” (YEAAA) session. We collectively decided on the topic of Haze in East Asia, while others concluded on various topics such as conservation of biodiversity, poverty, the rise in sea levels, etc. My group was positively charged with energy. From tackling the causes of the haze to delving deep into the consequences and its relevance to climate change, we achieved A LOT during that session. Wooohoooo, go productivity! We’re ready for part two where we will talk about solutions and the logistics of incorporating this pertinent issue in our COY11 Tokyo manifesto.

Team "WE HATE HAZE" with their poster.

Team “WE HATE HAZE” with their poster.

Second best part of the day was when the MYD group consisting of Ginger, Sze Ming and me going out for a stroll to the Meiji Shrine! We witnessed the mesmerising beauty of the fall colours merging with the traditional Japanese architecture. It was so beautiful that we decided to walk there every morning.

The Malaysian Youth Delegation (#MYD15) at the Meiji Shrine!

The Malaysian Youth Delegation (#MYD15) at the Meiji Shrine!

So, aside from learning a few Japanese phrases (e.g. Mataashita : see you tomorrow), I’ve learnt more about the negotiation process in COP21 through a film called “Make It Work” by Theatre de l’air, where students from various universities around the world experienced a COP simulation and ended up negotiating as representatives of entities (e.g. Soil) instead of the usual format (i.e. Countries). The documentary provided a wonderful insight to the harsh reality of the negotiating process in COP.

Lastly, my goal for attending COY11 is to establish a network with like minded people who are passionate about climate change and the environment, learn more about climate change and how youths can or should be involved, and make sure our voices are heard by world leaders in time for COP21. And today, though I didn’t achieve the first goal as I believe it takes time to foster strong bonds of friendship, I believe I will achieve it in the long run. As for the latter, I strongly believe we as youths achieved that today and I hope we can continue to keep this energy as we proceed with the next two days!

Domo arigatou once again to Air Asia for sponsoring our flights! I’ll be posting daily updates, so please stay tuned. 🙂

11 More Days To Go For COP21

11 More Days To Go For COP21

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11 more days to go to COP21. Woohoo!!!

A term to introduce today is YOUNGO. What’s come across your mind now? Young, energetic, ambition, etc. Yes, you are RIGHT. YOUNGO = YOUTH + NGO. It is a youth non-government organisation comprises of youth all around the world to raise their voices towards climate change.

Youth, leaders of tomorrow. YOUNGO realised the importance of urging world leaders to ACT NOW against climate change. In fact, youth have been actively involved in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) since COP 5 in Bonn. It was indeed a breakthrough for YOUNGO to involve in plenary and high level segment of a COP/CMP.

Youth rise, speak up and hand in hand together to secure a safer and better environment for present and future generation.It is an empowerment.

Check it out, video of YOUNGO as below. Together with YOUNGO, count down to the much anticipated COP21 with only 11 days to go. Stay with Malaysian Youth Delegation through the journey of COP21.

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Listen to the youths, Listen to YOUNGO

Listen to the youths, Listen to YOUNGO

More often than not, youths are perceived to be incapable, illiterate and immature to be able to make proper decisions. However, one particular youth organization network called YOUNGO is the group that you can entrust to make informed decisions in the UNFCCC intergovernmental process. This is the bunch of youths who holds true to being the guardian of our planet earth and will stand strong in protecting it for the future generation.  Each and every YOUNGO member do not simply represent a single nation but they represent the global youth community fighting against climate change as a unity.

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Photocredits by tcktcktck.org

“I represent all future generations yet to be born.”

“I represent the billions of children to be born before 2050.”

“I represent over 50% of the world’s population alive today.”

So please do not neglect us.

Continue reading to learn more about YOUNGO, the official youth constituency at UNFCCC.

Introducting YOUNGO

By Thomas Lai Yoke Hwa (MYD15)

Youth (Children and young people) are believed to be the key players in reaching innovative, inspiring and ambitious climate change solution. In fact, youth have been actively involved in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) since COP 5 in Bonn.

To date, the idea of youth constituency status was first discussed at COP10 in Buenos Aires. Prior to Conferences of Parties (COP 15), the secretariat granted a provisional observer constituency status to admit youth non-governmental organisations (YOUNGO). As per definition by the UNFCCC secretariat, constituency has a functional role in the climate change negotiation process as a management tool. This status allow youth not only to strengthen their presence during negotiations process but also take part in it as a stakeholder. To make thing clear, YOUNGO is not an organisation but rather an official youth constituency status in UNFCCC. The objective of YOUNGO is youth empowerment

As a constituency, YOUNGO is given the opportunity to address the plenary and high level segment of a COP/CMP. YOUNGO have additional privileges to make official statements and provide technical and policy inputs to negotiation groups during the plenaries. They also invited to attend workshops taking place in between sessions and meet with officials of the Convention such as Chairs of the subsidiary bodies and the COP Presidency.

YOUNGO play an important role in becoming the conduit for the exchange of official information between youth and the secretariat. Focal points are representatives in charge of communicating with the secretariat of the UNFCCC on behalf of youth during negotiation. Besides, YOUNGO assisted the secretariat in ensuring an effective youth participation to an intergovernmental meeting. Besides, it also promote youth participation in specific projects at the local and national levels such as education, mitigation, adaptation and technology transfer. It also coordinated young people’s interaction at sessions including convening constituency meetings, organising meetings with officials, providing names for the speakers list and representation at official function

Starting in COP 11/CMP 1, youth have organised meetings called “Conferences of Youth (COY)” prior to the sessions of the COP/CMP. The annual COY provides a solidarity platform to bring young people from around the world to learn about UNFCCC, building networks and equip themselves in building capacity in participating in the UNFCCC negotiation process. COY is the main summit of the YOUNGO constituency. COY 11 will be held at 26th November 2015

Aside from COY, the youth continue to engage in the negotiation process through various activities. YOUNGO co-organises Young and Future Generation’s Day during the COP/CMP  which will feature a series of youth-led events, exhibits, interviews, media stunts and etc. These events provide opportunities for the youth to showcase their project implemented, present a report they have written and even performing arts.

Last but not least, youth participation has brought moral and equity based values as well as transparency to the negotiations.

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Photocredits by peoplesclimate.org

References