By Lauren Nutter
About two weeks ago now, our COA group had our final get together, complete with apple cider and excited chatter about the change we want to see in the world. There is no doubt in my mind that our ambitious, dedicated, and idealistic group is ready for this two week marathon of negotiations in Copenhagen.
(COA Road to Copenhagen group)
I will set off from Logan tomorrow night, and my bags are almost packed. At least my granola bar, trail mix, and peanut butter supply to survive two weeks in an expensive European city, are all in my suitcase. COA students were serious about fundraising to make this trip happen, and I know we are all thankful to those that made our plane tickets, hostel stay, and food supply possible.
So what does the next two weeks look like for the COA group at these negotiations?
-Most of us arrive this weekend. We will be meeting up with several hundred other youth from around the world who are coming together for the Conference of Youth (COY). COY is the preparatory meeting for the youth NGOs who attend the negotiations. COA students will be working closely with the youth constituency to follow the policy proceedings, help frame the global youth voice, and collaborate on a few plenary statements to the government delegates. Some of us will also be doing direct action either inside the conference center or out on the street with other activists.
-During negotiations our days will begin early (6am) and end late (12pm or later). It will be a flurry of running to youth meetings, official plenary sessions, and NGO briefings by the US state department. We will be sharing as much of it as we can with you through our blog. We hope you join us through the journey, and please comment away on our blogs!
I also want to end this post by touching on some concerns about Copenhagen not yielding a treaty. It does upset me that we aren’t able to address climate change as fast as we should. But I think it’s important to stress that a lot will be decided in Copenhagen that will affect the final binding agreement hopefully a year from now. The number of youth and other concerned global citizens will be record at this year’s negotiations; I believe that our many voices will have an impact that we’ve never seen before. And we will hold our governments accountable and demand strong actions now.