COP20 Experience 1

Last week, 4 members of our delegation attended the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change’s COP20:

 

week1

 (From left to right: Laura, Letizia, Dawn and Sabrina)

 

Below, see their impressions about the Conference:

 

Letizia:

“Just got back to New York after an intense week at COP20. One thing is sure: New York is so much colder!

As my first COP, I’d like to share a few thoughts and impressions on this process.

A lot happened in one week – Civil Society and NGOs are very engaged and made the COP lively and interesting by organizing tons of side events, panels, discussions and presentations. We’ve heard professors, experts, UN representatives, and ministers on topic related to development, agriculture, women, food security, energy and much more, which shaped our knowledge on climate change across various sectors.

The Youth is there – As ourselves youth delegates through Columbia University, we want to represent the future and what we’ll bring into it. I’d like to say that if there was someone charismatic and energetic, that was definitely someone from a Youth delegations. They organized briefings, discussion and yes, even parties! Their energy has been felt at COP20.

Governments – This is a much more complicated discussion. During the first week, I’ve heard many contrasting thoughts and feelings on the negotiation process. Some are afraid of falling again in a new “Copenhagen”, while some believe that COP21 in Paris will be the turning point for a future with less emissions. True is that during the first week many governments made us shaking. The perspective of a legally binding agreement seems not to be the brightest options for some.

I’m sure that my colleagues will keep you posted for the second week at the COP. People are committed, let’s see what governments do!”

 

Sabrina:

“My days in Lima are winding down. I’m sad to leave such a worthwhile experience, but it is wonderful to know that the work we have witnessed and contributed to will continue after our departure.

These past few months I’ve had quite a few eye-opening experience, discovering how governments work at the highest levels both nationally and internationally. While these processes can be slow and frustrating, I still believe that the compromise that results is quite spectacular. At COP we were able to watch countries with a wide range of sizes, locations, government systems, religions, and more share their thoughts on one of the most important issues of our time, and by the end of the week they will have to come to some agreements all together. How special is that?

One of my favorite parts of COP was venturing to the public exhibitions, “Voces del Clima.” Within COP itself, speakers and activists spoke about the importance of education and public interaction to further the climate agenda. These exhibitions were a great example of both these ambitions. Just a few minutes away from COP, “Voces del Clima” invited citizens of Lima into lectures and beautifully designed interactive activities on forests, oceans, energy, sustainable cities, and mountains. I saw children taking notes as they ran around the exhibits, and parents participating in the activities their children were so excited to engage in. If nothing great comes out of COP20, at least we can be sure that Lima has created an impressive model to teach the public about the environment and inspire change. It has surely inspired me to continue participating in this change as well.”

 

Keep following our post for up-to-date information about the COP20!

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