Being an adult and representing youth.

I have heard a lot of talk within the youth constituency in the past few days about what the ‘adults’ are doing in the negotiations. I am 25 years old and I am an adult. I would think the majority of youth attending this conference would identify with being an adult, at least some of the time. To get access to the negotiations venue, you need to be 18 years old. Therefore, as 18 is a fairly standards age for being legally considered an adult in many countries, I am going to assume that the majority of the youth constituency is made up of adults. They may be young adults, but they are adults none the less. Being an adult to me is not a negative thing, but what I have found interesting is that sometimes within the youth constituency it is portrayed that way. 


I have spent many years researching science and the underlying social and cultural issues associated with climate change. I am currently in an international negotiations setting, of which I have very little experience. I am aware of the exceptionally complex nature of these negotiations and I don’t believe that I could ever know all the subtle intricacies that go on behind the scenes in terms of power dynamics between countries and other alliances. But I do believe I know enough about the situation to determine when I am hearing honest facts versus lip service. There is a reason that people in government get trained how to portray issues and turn conversations around to suit their skill sets and knowledge. I am finding this type of negotiator language quite draining. 

Posted on November 20, 2013 and filed under UN Climate Talks 2013.