Dispatches From Scotland
11.10.21 - Day 10: Meet the Negotiation Ninjas
11.10.21 - Day 10: More Insight into COP Negotiations
11.09.21 - Day 9: Witter Explains Today's Negotiations
11.09.21 - Day 9: Gender Day at COP26
11.08.21 - Day 8: Interview with Runa Khan
11.08.21 - Day 8: Emma & Witter's First Day at COP26
11.07.21 - Day 7: A Much Needed Rest Day
11.06.21 - Day 6: Youth Delegates Emma and Witter Arrive in Glasgow
11.06.21 - Day 6: Andrew's Reflections on the Power of Intergenerational Partnerships
Andrew was inspired to reflect on the power of intergenerational partnerships after the panel:
“The overall purpose of ACE is climate engagement at all levels of society by encouraging partnerships across sectors, demographics, and all other barriers that typically silo climate work. So engaging and empowering young people, and fostering intergenerational partnerships, should be central to that work. My quick thoughts on intergenerational partnerships based on participating in the “Youth Amplify Impact through Local and Global Connections” at the Water Pavilion are as follows.
- Framing: Describing young people as victims or vulnerable populations, regardless of the truth of this, is unproductive because it paints a picture of helpless young people who are unable to take action in the present or affect their future. Instead, we should frame young people as active agents of change who have significant potential (and experience) making their communities better places.
- Benefits: Intergenerational partnerships have the potential to increase capacity for climate action, create long-term and more resilient collaborations, implement more creative solutions, and build relationships through sharing knowledge, hopes, and perspectives.
- Advice to adults and decision-makers: Don’t tokenize young people. Don’t invite one (or a small group) of young people to participate in a one-time event, be on a panel, or do a social media takeover to check off a demographic checklist. Instead, listen to young people, engage them in your decision making process, act on their recommendations, and give them agency over their ideas — all over the long-term. This is how you can facilitate lasting, robust, and meaningful spaces for young people to both share their perspectives and see them put into action.
- Advice to young people: You, just as you are, have all the passions, interests, experiences, and skills you need to make a meaningful impact on your community. If you already know this and are engaged in climate work, do your friends know this too? How can we continue to engage more young people and empower them to take climate action?”
11.05.21 - Day 5: Inside COP vs. the Streets of Glasgow
Delegates witnessed a Indigenous Perspectives Panel at the US Climate Action Center, including Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland. Secretary Haaland emphasized the Department of the Interior’s recognition that frontline communities know what solutions they need, and that the US wants to consult directly with local communities more and more.
Al Gore spoke about the most recent impacts of climate change, including an increase in tick-borne diseases, extreme flooding, and heat waves.
11.05.21 - Day 5: Youth & Public Empowerment Day!
11.04.21 - Andrew's Reflections on Day 4
11.04.21 - Energy Day
International Energy Agency press conference. With the new pledges made so far at COP, especially those relating to methane, we’d be on track for 1.8 degrees of warming according to the IEA. This is great news! Previously the commitments of countries around the world would not get us below 2 degrees Celsius in warming.
11.04.21 - Day 4: A Quick Breather
11.03.21 - Interview with Ugandan Youth Activist
11.03.21 - Day 3 Starts with a Press Conference
11.02.21 - Day 2 of the World Leaders Summit at COP26
11.01.21 - Reflections on Day 1 from Silas
On the ground: I’ve noticed a large emphasis on local communities. The organizations running side events and the nations showcasing their efforts in the pavilions are emphasizing climate success stories in individual cities and towns. While it is easy to frame COP as diplomats in a room arguing over rules, there is a massive community of people with local success stories looking to share their best practices, and connect with other organizations in order to collaborate and scale their impact, with or without the politicians in the rooms next door.
Circling back to the official targets, the hundreds of people in the civil society space are connected to the negotiating process through the constituencies. Constituencies are the organized bodies representing various communities and/or perspectives. They facilitate direct meetings with negotiators and deliver statements at the plenary sessions. All of us are blown away by the dedication within the Youth constituency (YOUNGO). They have dozens of youth on a team dedicated solely to taking notes during all the negotiations. This team reports back to working groups who are simultaneously writing policy proposals. The working groups deliver policy proposals to negotiators in 1:1 meetings throughout the two weeks of the conference. These meetings can happen in an instant! The youth delegates inside the negotiating rooms, and those waiting outside, have been able to pull aside national representatives and essentially deliver elevator pitches on what the youth want to see at COP. I would also emphasize that the constituencies (or at least YOUNGO) have a unified set of priorities, it isn’t about one organization getting ahead of another. It has become clear to me that so much of COP actually happens before COP, whether that is coordination across the constituencies, negotiators strategizing, or organizations like the Wild Center planning several panels and partner events to showcase our work.
11.01.21 - COP26 is Underway!
10.31.21 - Conference of Youth Wraps Up
10.29.21 - Elise's Reflections from Day 1 of the Conference of Youth
In between attending the conference and preparing for upcoming events, I’ve also gotten to see some of the city. It’s really cool to see all the new and old architecture mixed in together, and the murals on buildings are always fun to look at and find.
During the first two sessions of the conference I met several delegates from different places, ranging from South Africa, to the Maldives, to the Netherlands and Germany. It’s really great to see that while every country faces different challenges, we are all working towards a common goal in our own way, whether that’s looking into solutions through an economic, technological, educational, environmental justice, or interdisciplinary lens.
I think my favorite thing about the conference so far is the focus on people. We aren’t just focusing on technology or the degrees of warming and what that means for natural ecosystems, we are talking about the effects climate change has on communities and people all over the world in order to demand effective, systemic, and adaptive solutions and build resilience. – Elise
10.28.21 - The Conference of Youth is Underway
10.21.21 - Elodie's Reflections on the TED Countdown Summit
Through incredible TED talks and breakthrough sessions, I began to see clearly that we have the solutions, money, people, technology, and infrastructure to solve the climate crisis. I also saw that many people are afraid to truly commit to using them. In order to change this, we need to create the political and social conditions for the solutions at our finger tips to be spread far and wide. For this to happen, we need to center justice and deconstruct the oppressive systems that are holding us back and hurting our people and planet. The Countdown Summit showed me that art, love, activism, mindfulness, and youth voice are a few ways to create the necessary conditions for systemic change. -Elodie