Natalie Jones: Why you should go to COP 20

Natalie Jones, AYLI delegate to COP 19 in Warsaw

Natalie Jones, AYLI delegate to COP 19 in Warsaw

I went to COP 19 in Warsaw last year with AYLI, and I'm returning to COP 20 this year with the New Zealand Youth Delegation. COP was one of last year's highlights for me, and so I thought I'd use this blog post to tell you a bit about what you might be in for if you attend COP with AYLI.

If you go to COP, you'll experience international law in the making, and all the politics that go along with it. You will learn so much each day that your skull will be bursting at the seams. You'll become fluent in a whole new language of acronyms. You'll get daily access to New Zealand government officials for the low down on what New Zealand is doing. 

You'll bump into Ban Ki-Moon in the corridors. You might even meet Helen Clark, if you're lucky. But those are only two names out of the thousands of interesting individuals who will be present. You'll attend lectures and side events given by world experts.


If you're anything like the team who went last year, you might write speeches to be delivered to the plenary, or you might organise press conferences. You might make up skits for Fossil of the Day, or successfully campaign for future generations to be included in the negotiation text.

At COY 10, you'll meet like-minded young people from around the world, committed to working towards solutions to the biggest challenge humanity has ever faced. They will inspire you. You will carry their stories in your heart. You will make fast friends with whom you'll dance til dawn at the NGO party.


You'll march through the streets of Lima with thousands of others. You'll take part in actions with other activists from around the globe. You'll blog about it. You may even tweet. 

Don't get me wrong, it can be difficult. It'll be disheartening, frustrating, tiring and stressful. It's mentally tough, and an emotional rollercoaster. You probably won't get much sleep. But it'll all be worth it. In short, you'll have the time of your life.

What are you waiting for? Apply now.