A better future
UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn: why do young people become involved in climate protection? Three activists explain their reasons.
Before the UN Climate Change Conference began young people from all over the world already met in Bonn for the 13th Conference of Youth (COY13) where they discussed climate policy and sustainability. What are their concerns? We asked three of them.
“A very inspiring environment”
Anna Bäuerle from Germany, one of two main coordinators of the COY13 team
“Since high school I have been interested in climate protection and sustainability. I wrote my Master’s dissertation on sustainable fisheries management. I found out about the COY by chance and submitted my application. The wonderful thing is that you can participate in the COY quickly and without a great deal of red tape. It’s a very inspiring environment, characterised by internationality, inclusion and diversity. I am very moved by how much commitment and motivation so many volunteers are showing here.”
“Everyone should be heard”
Kunal Singh from Fiji, researcher at the University of the South Pacific
“I’m active in Project Survival Pacific (PSP), a young people’s environmental organisation in Fiji. Young people from the whole country are represented and speak for their respective community. Climate change affects all sections of the population, which is why everyone should be heard when it comes to negotiating on the national and international level. I live with the effects of climate change every day. I have to do something. With our project, after years of struggle, we have finally made the Government of Fiji levy taxes on plastic bags. It is a small step, but it will benefit the nation in its bid to reduce pollution and climate effects.”
“Learning from one another”
Fadoua El Qorchi from Morocco, PhD student at Cadi Ayyad University
“At COY13 our research group offered a workshop on the subject of climate change and health. That’s a very complex topic, but we consider it important to explain the interrelationships and share our knowledge. It is just as important to learn from the other participants and their experiences. What I like most about the COY is that young people from all over the world and from different disciplines come together to discuss climate change. We are driven by love of our home country, of places, people, landscapes, creations, ideas – and the possibility of a better future.”