My third day! I joined the WAGGGS delegation with Mary from Denmark during the second week at COP 16. Turning up at the Cancun-Messe or the Moon Palace is a bit of a shock as there is so much going on with meetings, conferences, events, actions taking place everywhere!
On the bus at 7.30 am, I met a Nigerian youth from the NGO Resad and a girl from Milan, Italy, who is doing an internship at the Ministry of Sustainable Development in her country and running an African forum on this issue. Both of them do not really believe that a binding agreement can be reached by the end of COP 16 but say they have had the opportunity to meet many interesting people!!
8.30 am: YOUNGO meeting
This is the daily meeting of youth NGOs. During the day, many youth organizations took part in some important meetings. On the agenda today discussed the next three actions for the remaining days in order to encourage key stakeholders at the UNFCCC to make the right decisions for the future.
The first action is to thank all the countries that are committed to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions and ensuring temperatures rise to no more than 1.5 degrees. The second action will feature a large map showing how some countries and islands will disappear under water due to climate change. Finally, on Friday, we plan to have a giant thermometer which will show the effects if temperatures rise by 1°C, 1.5°C, 2°C, 3°C, 4°C etc. For this, we have planned to take part in several preparatory meetings.
12 am: European Youth Forum meeting
This is the daily meeting for European young people at COP 16. During this second week of negotiations rounds, we decided to organize a meeting with all EU environment ministers in order to promote a space for dialogue between European youth representatives and some European political decision-makers. Today, in particular, we are getting ready for a meeting with the Belgian ministers for Youth and Environment due to take place tonight.
The second part of our meeting will focus on strategies. We believe that it would be very beneficial to create a European movement on the issue of climate change and we have therefore invited our British counterparts to join in because they already have a well established climate action network in place.
Following this meeting, we headed towards the WAGGGS stand. We built a small cardbox tree and cut out some tree leaves… We asked everyone passing by our stand to write down an action that they will commit to implementing on their retun to their respective countries to help fight against climate change. The First Lady of Mexico, also present at the conference venue, came to visit our stand. She knows Girl Guiding very well, having been a Girl Guide herself and her daughter is also a Brownie.
Here is what she wrote on one of the tree leaves: “Apoyar al presidente de Mexico, sobre todo en educación ambiental” (Support the President of Mexico and, most importantly, for all that is related to environmental education).
7.15 pm: meeting with the ministers of Youth and Environment from Belgium
With other European youth, we took turns to ask questions. I asked a question related to the Kyoto Protocol to find out if they were ready to commit to a second period, even if some key stakeholders are not signatories… and both ministers positively agreed and declared they were committed and in favour of this course of action. By the end of the meeting, it was their turn to ask some questions. They wanted to know, in particular, whether all young people agreed to the same action proposals and projects related to environmental and climate change issues.
Finally, they invited us to join the party being held at their superb hotel!
11.30 pm: Back to the Mundo Joven Hostel… it has been a long but exciting day!!!
Céline Lefèvre, France