United Nations Climate Change Conference – COP 21

30 November - 11 December 2015

The 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is being held in Paris, France, from 30 November - 11 December 2015.

This annual conference will bring together over 20,000 attendees from government, academia, business and advocacy groups to advance international agreements that aim to mitigate climate change and adapt to its effects. In particular, Paris is set to see the agreement of a new deal on climate change - one of the most significant events in environmental negotiations this decade.

Read about our COP21 delegation's experiences in their blog posts and on Twitter!

Head Delegate

Benj Brooking

BENJ BROOKING | @benjbrooking

As one of the Institute's delegates to last year's COP 20 conference in Lima, Benj has been selected to lead this year's delegation.  Benj is an Auckland based filmmaker who loves the challenge of producing media that is both engaging and effective. He primarily works on educational and promotional material to inspire social change, but also creates music videos and short films. He believes that better media can help create a better world. In addition, Benj is involved with the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network Youth and the New Zealand Red Cross.

Delegates

  RYAN MEARNS | @ryanmearns Ryan is an experienced campaigner currently working as a Campaign Director for multi-issue online campaign organisation ActionStation and as an NGO consultant on campaign strategy as lead architect and strategist for social change organisation For Purpose. He previously worked as the Digital Advisor for the Green Party during the the 2014 election, and led climate youth organisation Generation Zero's work on transport and urban issues in Auckland.

 

RYAN MEARNS | @ryanmearns

Ryan is an experienced campaigner currently working as a Campaign Director for multi-issue online campaign organisation ActionStation and as an NGO consultant on campaign strategy as lead architect and strategist for social change organisation For Purpose. He previously worked as the Digital Advisor for the Green Party during the the 2014 election, and led climate youth organisation Generation Zero's work on transport and urban issues in Auckland.

  MATTEA MRKUSIC | @MatteaMrkusic Mattea is a third-year student at Harvard College, where she studies Government and Environmental Public Policy. A Kiwi-American hybrid, she likes fusing ideas together: climate change activism with forced migration advocacy, grass-roots movements with visual storytelling. Having worked with Refugees International, UN Youth Australia, and UN Youth New Zealand, she is currently focusing her advocacy on protecting the rights of climate-displaced populations. Next year, she will travel to Kiribati and Alaska to research culturally sensitive policy solutions to climate displacement. In the meantime, she’ll be moonlighting as a photojournalist for Harvard Political Review, and trekking up New England’s mountains, sketchbook in hand.

 

MATTEA MRKUSIC | @MatteaMrkusic

Mattea is a third-year student at Harvard College, where she studies Government and Environmental Public Policy. A Kiwi-American hybrid, she likes fusing ideas together: climate change activism with forced migration advocacy, grass-roots movements with visual storytelling. Having worked with Refugees International, UN Youth Australia, and UN Youth New Zealand, she is currently focusing her advocacy on protecting the rights of climate-displaced populations. Next year, she will travel to Kiribati and Alaska to research culturally sensitive policy solutions to climate displacement. In the meantime, she’ll be moonlighting as a photojournalist for Harvard Political Review, and trekking up New England’s mountains, sketchbook in hand.

  INDIA LOGAN-RILEY | @IndiMiro India is originally from Hawke's Bay (Ngāti Kahungunu ki Heretaunga). She moved to Auckland to study Anthropology and took on the campus convenor role at the University of Auckland for Generation Zero. India is interested in how indigenous peoples have and can address the issues that they face, such as land loss, prejudice and climate change. In her spare time she likes to connect with the whenua through tramping or rock climbing, or reading or watching films.

 

INDIA LOGAN-RILEY | @IndiMiro

India is originally from Hawke's Bay (Ngāti Kahungunu ki Heretaunga). She moved to Auckland to study Anthropology and took on the campus convenor role at the University of Auckland for Generation Zero. India is interested in how indigenous peoples have and can address the issues that they face, such as land loss, prejudice and climate change. In her spare time she likes to connect with the whenua through tramping or rock climbing, or reading or watching films.

  LOTTIE BOARDMAN | @lottie_boardman Lottie is a junior litigation lawyer at a commercial firm in Wellington. A relatively recent migrant to the capital, Lottie completed a LLB(Hons)/BSc (majoring in biological sciences and philosophy) in her hometown of Christchurch. Lottie is studying part-time towards an LLM at Victoria University, focusing on environmental and international law. Lottie is passionate about the environment and about people and is keenly interested in learning how we can organise ourselves to live in a sustainable way, at both domestic and international levels. In her spare time, Lottie is a keen reader, walker and dancer.

 

LOTTIE BOARDMAN | @lottie_boardman

Lottie is a junior litigation lawyer at a commercial firm in Wellington. A relatively recent migrant to the capital, Lottie completed a LLB(Hons)/BSc (majoring in biological sciences and philosophy) in her hometown of Christchurch. Lottie is studying part-time towards an LLM at Victoria University, focusing on environmental and international law. Lottie is passionate about the environment and about people and is keenly interested in learning how we can organise ourselves to live in a sustainable way, at both domestic and international levels. In her spare time, Lottie is a keen reader, walker and dancer.

  SIMON HILLIER | @eskayhillier Simon is an easygoing guy with a sunny smile. He is Nelson-bred, Wellington-based, and the youngest of three. He can usually be found reading, running, road tripping, tramping, camping, cooking badly, or listening to strange electronic music. Born in 1992 alongside the UNFCCC and graduating the month of COP 21, Simon can't help but interpret his boyhood as one big tango with climate change. At the moment, he's co-managing a website called Deconstructing Paris.  

 

SIMON HILLIER | @eskayhillier

Simon is an easygoing guy with a sunny smile. He is Nelson-bred, Wellington-based, and the youngest of three. He can usually be found reading, running, road tripping, tramping, camping, cooking badly, or listening to strange electronic music. Born in 1992 alongside the UNFCCC and graduating the month of COP 21, Simon can't help but interpret his boyhood as one big tango with climate change. At the moment, he's co-managing a website called Deconstructing Paris.

 

  KYA LAL | @kya_lal Kya is a 23 year old LLM candidate specialising in Environmental Law at the University of Auckland. Her research has focused on the legal impacts and implications of climate change, especially in the Pacific region. Being originally from Fiji makes climate change an issue very close to her heart. Last year Kya attended COP 20 in Peru with the New Zealand Youth Delegation; she has since been admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand.

 

KYA LAL | @kya_lal

Kya is a 23 year old LLM candidate specialising in Environmental Law at the University of Auckland. Her research has focused on the legal impacts and implications of climate change, especially in the Pacific region. Being originally from Fiji makes climate change an issue very close to her heart. Last year Kya attended COP 20 in Peru with the New Zealand Youth Delegation; she has since been admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand.

  HAMISH LAING | @LaingHamish Hamish Laing is an engineer, avid outdoorsman and budding climate change activist. Having completed his undergrad degree at the University of Canterbury, he was given the opportunity to spend an amazing couple of months in Antarctica where he gained a broader perspective of what is at stake in this climate change game we are playing. He decided to pursue his passion for clean energy and continue studying for an MSc in Sustainable Energy at Imperial College in London, which is where he finds himself now. In his spare time he loves running, reading, traveling and spinning a good yarn with his mates.

 

HAMISH LAING | @LaingHamish

Hamish Laing is an engineer, avid outdoorsman and budding climate change activist. Having completed his undergrad degree at the University of Canterbury, he was given the opportunity to spend an amazing couple of months in Antarctica where he gained a broader perspective of what is at stake in this climate change game we are playing. He decided to pursue his passion for clean energy and continue studying for an MSc in Sustainable Energy at Imperial College in London, which is where he finds himself now. In his spare time he loves running, reading, traveling and spinning a good yarn with his mates.

  FLORENCE REYNOLDS | @dntgoagainstflo Florence is a self-professed nature addict and adventure enthusiast who graduated with a Psychology/Ecology degree from Auckland University. She loves tramping, hitting the beach and finding cool insects. In May 2013, she ran 219km over 6 days through Atacama Desert as an impossible2Possible Ambassador. Florence founded Plastic Diet in 2013 as a response to challenges she faced whilst attempting to live single-use plastic free. This year she was project lead of the Plastic Bottle Kayak project, organising an expedition young people on recycled boats. She has worked with a variety of other NGOs including P3 Foundation and International Student Volunteers.

 

FLORENCE REYNOLDS | @dntgoagainstflo

Florence is a self-professed nature addict and adventure enthusiast who graduated with a Psychology/Ecology degree from Auckland University. She loves tramping, hitting the beach and finding cool insects. In May 2013, she ran 219km over 6 days through Atacama Desert as an impossible2Possible Ambassador. Florence founded Plastic Diet in 2013 as a response to challenges she faced whilst attempting to live single-use plastic free. This year she was project lead of the Plastic Bottle Kayak project, organising an expedition young people on recycled boats. She has worked with a variety of other NGOs including P3 Foundation and International Student Volunteers.