Report by NewsroomPlus.com – Contributed by University of Canterbury
University of Canterbury alumni Anna Sturman and Natalie Jones have been selected for the New Zealand Youth Delegation (NZYD) heading to the United Nations’ negotiations on climate change in Paris later this year.
Eight delegates were chosen from across New Zealand. The event, also known as the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21), will take place from 30 November to 11 December.
The COP is made up of 196 governments and is the supreme decision-making body on matters addressing human-induced climate change. It meets every year in a global session where decisions are made to meet goals for combating climate change.
The New Zealand Youth delegates will each be involved in one of several teams at the conference, including the policy, co-convener, communications and actions teams.
Sturman, who now works at the University of Canterbury as a Senior Policy Advisor, will be part of the policy team at the conference.
“This will involve tracking the negotiations in real time, engaging with the various policy documents in circulation throughout the COP and siphoning the useful information back to the other team members for further action,” says Sturman.
Jones is currently a legal intern at the Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense (AIDA) in Mexico City. She will be part of the communications team at the conference.
“We will manage the digital communications via our website, mailing list, Facebook and Twitter, and ideally gain substantial media coverage. Our aim is to communicate what is happening at the COP back to New Zealand,” says Jones.
Sturman and Jones both feel strongly that climate change is a phenomenon that should unite people around the globe.
“Climate change is fundamentally entwined with issues of inequality, poverty and development. Those of us with privilege and the means to act need to take care of our world’s most vulnerable citizens,” says Jones.
“We need to confront the very real and scary realities of what could lie ahead if we do not act together, fast. Climate change also ties into wider questions of economic systems and decisions that need to be made at the global, national and local levels about how we want the world to look in years to come. It is the challenge that will define our generation,” says Sturman.