During the UNFCCC Intercessional we’ve noticed that a lot of our fellow youth know a lot about this process and we thought why not share their expertise with everyone?
Sabrina has been our fearless YOUNGO leader, coordinating between all of the youth NGOs and the UNFCCC. You might be thinking, why anyone would volunteer for such a time intensive position? But after talking to her it’s clear to see why and even might make you a little more ambitious yourself.
Why are you here?
For several reasons.
First because the climate change process fascinates me a lot. Since Bali and doing a masters thesis on the climate change negotiation process, I fell in love with all the process. Climate change and the negotiations are the most important topic today. With these negotiations we are drawing the world we want for tomorrow. It’s just fascinating to see the world sitting in the same area, talking about the future.
I’m also here because I’m the YOUNGO focal point. The reason why I joined YOUNGO is because I really believe in youth empowerment and we are an agent of change. We are innovative and we have original ideas. We can make difference! We are the future generation but we are also the new generation and our roll is really important now.
I want to be part of the solution, to be able to tell to my future children that we worked a lot and hard when we were young to make a different world. I didn’t just sit on my chair- I fought for climate change with my heart.
Also I am here because I’m apart of CliMates. We do some research, I am a coordinator in tracking negotiations and I also coordinate with two other members in CliMates to prepare other CliMates for COP21. Really interesting to follow the process and find an innovative way with our view. CliMates is a really interesting, international and interdisciplinary think tank. We are a team from all over the world, we are discussing and talking with different perceptions.
During the negotiations thats exactly what happens is that the parties get blocked is because of the language and culture. So CliMates had the idea to form and train the next generation on climate change issues. The future leaders will be able to better understand people from other countries because we’ve had the habit to talk with them before about the topic of climate change – which is really complex. Also, for discussion with other stakeholders, other governments and expectations. Even if CliMates is international, our board and strategic team is based in Paris, so in the best we can we are preparing for COP21, and creating good dialogue with young people.
What is the most important issue for you here?
To prepare the new agreement. My master’s degree was in geopolitics, so I have a geopolitical perspective. I am really aware how it will be since the world has changed. The world has changed since Kyoto, Rio. How a coalition is working and how it’s going to move. What will be the content, the format, the global view of this global agreement. Make them ok for an agreement. Reflect where we are now. Taking into account all of the interests of everyone. The most important aspect of the negotiations is to reflect the world of the today.
What is the most important thing for young people at home to know?
Today if people are not interested in climate change, it’s because it’s too complex of an issue. Also because of Copenhagen in 2009, which was really good in some points but really bad on mobilization. After Copenhagen, no one wants to care anymore. To connect and mobilize people better all over the world, make sure they are aware. Beyond Paris we need to connect climate change with other topics which they care about. We need to balance the speech we have been saying for a long time- if climate change arrives we are going to die. We have to balance with how climate change can bring a positive impact on your life everyday. We have to find a way to touch everyone around the world and connect climate change with this topic which affects them the most.
How would you explain what you doing here to your grandmother?
My grandmother is no longer here anymore, but she was supporting me a lot when she was. She was there when the Second World War was going so, she was young. So the idea of freedom and fighting for your ideals is something she cared about all her life. So I told her I want to fight against climate change, and participate in the negotiation process. You can have a lot of impact on the ground but you also have to act on the international level. You have to connect the bottom up and top down.
But if I was talking to someone who didn’t really care, I would say climate change is our future and fighting climate change is making our future. It’s like if you have a big white board, we can draw the world we want. Which world do you want to draw? Fighting climate change is drawing the board you want. Motivating issue the world, it’s the only topic in which you can do whatever you want. It just depends on your motivation. At the international, local, and small level. So go ahead! Paint the world you want. Confront the world you want with the world other people want, is the best solution.