An unexpected journey....


Wow! What a crazy three weeks it has been. My name is Lisa McLaren and I am an Aotearoa Youth Leadership Institute youth delegate. The rest of our delegation and I found out that we were chosen to go to the COP 19 climate change conference in Warsaw less than three weeks ago and now I am sitting on a plane bound for Hong Kong, the half way stop on our journey to Poland!

It has been an intense three weeks of fundraising, learning, packing and finishing off my other jobs and Masters thesis. We attended a training weekend last weekend up in Auckland, where we meet Rachel who will lead our delegation and show us the ropes. We also met her partner, David, who is traveling to COP with the Adopt a Negotiator team. Their knowledge of previous COPs they have attended will be invaluable!

Earlier today, before we departed for Hong Kong, we attended the Auckland stakeholders meeting for those interested in meeting the NZ government negotiators and hearing their plans for the conference. It was really great to get an understanding of how the NZ negotiators were approaching COP 19, not that they gave too much away! It was great to meet them and I look forward to learning from them throughout the conference during the daily NZ stakeholder meetings.

I am extremely excited to get to Poland as I have never been to Eastern Europe, and it is somewhere that I do not know too much about. I am excited to meet both youth delegates and government negotiators from around the world. I am really interested in the venue for the conference (a stadium), which apparently needs its roof opened if it starts snowing! As we are heading to Poland in their winter we might just see this in action! I have lots of NZ Marino packed so hopefully that will keep the cold temperatures at bay.

We are lucky enough to be staying at an apartment close to the stadium which will be handy as we are expecting to be having many early mornings and late nights at the conference- networking, joining in on meetings, tweeting and blogging updates!

I am in no doubt that the conference will be frustrating, exciting, infuriating, soul destroying, inspiring, intense, and life changing all at once. And I am so ready for it!! Bring on COP 19!!!!!! 


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

For official Institute updates, take a look here.


Posted on November 5, 2013 and filed under UN Climate Talks 2013.