Two Atlantic College students, Laura and Lindsay, are attending the COP16 conference in Cancun. They have kindly allowed United Words to publish their blog entries from before, during and after the conference. The original entries can be found on http://atlanticcollegeatcop16.blogspot.com/.
Laura Emily Rigell (USA, AC 09-11), Lindsay Riddoch (Scotland, AC 09-11)
Quite a lot has happened since I sat in Mexico City airport trying to put together a few words to express what was going on in my head. Coherence is still, as Laura said, slightly lacking, but we’re getting there.
My first day here I merely waited for Charlie and Laurence to arrive and was cooked for and taken out for a meal by our amazing hosts. During our meal we talked about Mexico, about it’s problems and about the craziness of this place. To try and explain, Cancun was nothing about 30 years ago; it is now a city with a population of over 1 million. It sprung out of nowhere to fund tourism, and has a multi-million dollar hotel district next to the “regions” areas of impoverished Mexicans. On top of that a hurricane struck in 2005 with devastating consequences for everyone involved. I could go on, but suffice to say Cancun is a city riddled with beauty, confusion and contrast.
And then yesterday we attended the conference of the youth. The workshops being offered were diverse and fascinating; I gained a basic understanding of the UNFCCC process (moral of the story: use less acronyms please.) and listened to an uplifting speech on how the youth movement MUST NOT turn into the biased, unrepresentative organization which is the UN. Regardless of what I learnt though the most amazing thing about COY was merely being surrounded by other young people who cared about climate change. And who were willing to dedicate two weeks of their life to the cause.
After grabbing some dinner and being astounded by the prices in the local supermarket we headed back to our lovely hosts house, where the real work began. We wrote a workshop for tomorrow’s COY and discussed our long term aims at the conference. Which for those of you are interested fall into three categories:
– Practical help for delegates (Kiribati etc.)
– Our website delegationsupport.wordpress.com, which hopes to publish unbiased “minutes” of every UN strand meeting
– A report called “Filling Information Gaps” which Charlie among others wrote and which we hope to gain media attention for as well as some kind of protest/action.
After working on this for a good number of hours I passed out on my bed.
I wrote a long post because I get the feeling they’re going to get shorter and shorter as my time is more and more restricted.
“You become needed in the movement, when you realise you are not needed in the movement”
-United World Colleges Student Magazine-