Natalie Jones: Youth Conference: A Wrap Up

Wow! The Conference of Youth/Powershift has been amazing!

I’ve attended workshops on social media, communications, intergenerational equity (a big lobbying point for YOUNGO at COP19), climate related disaster relief, corporate sponsorship of COP19, and the connections between COP and national campaigns.  I’ve been lucky enough to meet people from all around the world, all focused on one goal: climate justice.

I would have appreciated more workshops focused on preparing for COP, but I guess that’s the downside of holding a COY (focused around preparation for COP) and a Powershift (an event to strengthen the local youth climate movement) at the same event. Nevertheless, I still learned a lot. It was interesting to see in action the inter-relationship between international and domestic policy and campaigning. Powershift epitomises grassroots action, whereas COY epitomises top-down action, and both are valuable.

Yesterday was devoted to filming a protest action, based around the idea of a race for energy independence. I was on the renewable energy team, wearing green shirts, and the coal team wore black. Guess who won? (hint: not coal). 

Throughout COY we have been constantly reminded of the Philippines. The devastation there provides our motivation to keep on working, to push for ambition and equity in a new global agreement. 

On another note, I’m incredibly proud of our team. A month ago we didn’t even know we were going to COP, and already members of our team are writing speeches for YOUNGO interventions in the plenary, organising protest actions, organising Fossil of the Day, organising a petition (details to come....) and of course writing amazing blog posts. ;) And, I will add, all of these things have happened in one day. Possibly an omen of things to come? I can't decide if that's terrifying or exciting.

Can’t wait to see what we can achieve at COP 19!


All posts by Institute delegates reflect their own thoughts, opinions and experiences, and do not reflect those of the Institute.

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Posted on November 11, 2013 and filed under UN Climate Talks 2013.