Hi, world. I’m Natalie – one of AYLI’s delegates to the UN Climate Change Conference in Warsaw. Follow me on my merry way as I work out exactly what goes on at UN climate negotiations, and what role the New Zealand government plays.
The journey over was smooth, thanks to my excellent plane-sleeping skills – to be honest, I am pretty good at sleeping in general – and a truly awesome stopover in Hong Kong. After arriving at about midday, today is for rest and admin – because tomorrow things are going into full swing!
I think I have a rough idea of what to expect, based on a ton of reading and chatting to people who have previously gone to COP (Conference of the Parties – the first of many, many acronyms, I’m afraid), but somehow I think my mind will still be blown. At the moment I feel like I’m standing on the edge of a massive void, over a vast and changing landscape, with a metre’s visibility, and I’m about to leap off. I’ll only find out lies in store on the way down. It’s both exciting and scary - and I'm so stoked to be here!
I’m hoping the Conference of Youth (COY), which starts tomorrow and runs for four days, will be somewhat enlightening.
All that said, I do have some goals for COP:
1. Negotiations – Understand what is happening in the negotiations each day (a daunting prospect).
2. Networking – Meet lots of inspiring people – especially young people.
3. NZ Negotiators – Engage constructively with our negotiators & learn what they do at COP.
4. Side events – Attend awesome side-events (I have a feeling this won’t be a problem).
5. Blog posts/communication – digest information and communicate it in an engaging and constructive way.
6. Learning - generally learn as much as I can!
I also have some questions I want to think about during COP:
1. Top down vs bottom up – is the UN process inherently doomed? Value of grassroots vs international policy. Is it more worthwhile to focus energies at the national level, or in our own lives?
2. NGO Strategy – what are the respective merits of protest actions, lobbying on policy issues, and documentation/transparency work at COP?
3. Youth – what kind of potential do youth have, both in the international process and domestically?
Will I be able to come up with answers? Probably not. Nevertheless, stay tuned for more updates here, and at @nataliejonesnz.
Bring on COY!
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.