A substantial portion of the 10,000 non-governmental accredited "observers" at the event were born after the international community took notice of the climate problem in the late 1980s. At COP21, they weren't just observing. They were engaged, energetic, articulate and effective.
|Youth gathering for updates, strategizing at COP21|
More Than Observers
Timothy Damon of SustainUS made the point that was echoed by many youth. They will be living in the world impacted by climate change and they want their voice to be heard.
Hearing the Voice of Youth
The voice of youth was heard in many ways. Some button-holed diplomats, some had a presence with the media, some demonstrated and some were actually embedded within country delegations.
|Yann Lesestre and Leslie Tourneville of French youth group |
CliMates display the message of zero carbon by 2050
|The Australian Youth Climate Coalition pushes |
for 1.5 degree cap and money for mitigation
Scientifically Necessary and Morally Just
Dyanna Jaye of SustainUS summed up the passion and effectiveness of youth, saying they move beyond what is perceived as possible to what is "scientifically necessary and morally just::
We Can Change the World
With over 190 countries and 20,000 government delegates, effectiveness of outside constituencies was hard to measure at COP21. But the successful outcome reflected the hard work of many. Jessica Olson of the Sierra Student Coalition recognized that change is possible through collaborative action.
The Road Doesn't End in Paris
Finally, Caroline Engle of the Sierra Student Coalition echoed the sentiment of many .. that COP21 is just the beginning. Much more work lies ahead if we are going to decarbonize our future. The youth at COP21 are ready to rise to the challenge.