Skip to content

CliMates trains student climate negotiators in NYC

2014 September 2
by admin

CliMates participants meet French climate diplomat Adrien Pinelli at the French Mission to the UN (Ph: CliMates)

Born out of exas­per­a­tion at the slow pace of inter­na­tional progress on cli­mate change, the French-based group Cli­Mates pro­vides par­tic­i­pa­tion and train­ing to young peo­ple who want to help push for­ward for solutions.

This Fri­day, August 29th con­cluded the Sec­ond Cli­Mates Inter­na­tional Sum­mit, hosted at Colum­bia Uni­ver­sity. Orga­nized by vol­un­teers and peer lead­ers, this gath­er­ing of stu­dents and young pro­fes­sion­als from over 15 nations focused on build­ing skills and train­ing atten­dees to dis­cuss the impacts of cli­mate change in var­i­ous sec­tors. Their mis­sion is to inspire and empower youth all around the world to find answers together.

Co-founder Mar­got Le Guen shared how the net­work has evolved since 2011 from a “group of peers at Sci­ence Po, in France, where we were reach­ing out to our friends to join to what is now a group of over 150 actively involved.”

Last year, Cli­Mates held a Latin American-focused gath­er­ing in Bogota, Colum­bia. This year’s events took the form of a ‘sum­mer school’ in New York City, where par­tic­i­pants attended sem­i­nars and engaged in dis­cus­sions on every­thing from entre­pre­neur­ship for social inno­va­tion, to craft­ing per­for­mance art, to the impacts of heat on health. A spe­cial dis­cus­sion lead by Ahmad Alhen­dawi, the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, empha­sized the need to think about what moti­vates poten­tial part­ners to engage. The team also met with French cli­mate diplo­mat Adrien Pinelli, who spoke about the role of youth engage­ment in the upcom­ing COP 21 con­fer­ence held in Paris in 2015.

I had the plea­sure of speak­ing on a panel about cli­mate and health with Kim Knowl­ton, Senior Sci­en­tist, Health & Envi­ron­ment Pro­gram and Co-Deputy Direc­tor of the Nat­ural Resources Defense Coun­cil.  Dr. Knowl­ton and I pre­sented on how ris­ing tem­per­a­tures will impact poor­est pop­u­la­tionsmost dra­mat­i­cally and explored eco­nomic and social solu­tions for prevention.

The over­all tone of the sum­mit was one of excite­ment and col­lab­o­ra­tion. Atten­dees shared ideas for research col­lab­o­ra­tion, expand­ing part­ner­ships and plan­ning for next year, when the sum­mit will be held in France, gear­ing up for the world’s crit­i­cal test: the 2015 United Nations Cli­mate Change Con­fer­ence in Paris. The announced aims of the 2015 UN con­fer­ence are noth­ing less than a bind­ing, world­wide agree­ment to limit green­house gases.

In the next month, UN Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Ban Ki Moon will host a pre­lude to the 2015 con­fer­ence, at the United Nations in New York City on Sep­tem­ber 23rd. This pre­lim­i­nary meet­ing of world lead­ers is the focus of the People’s Cli­mate March, sched­uled for Sep­tem­ber 21st, which is draw­ing an increas­ing amount of media and insti­tu­tional attention.

For more infor­ma­tion on Cli­Mates and their social media pres­ence, fol­low them on Twit­ter and see their YouTube chan­nel. Below, watch Austin Mor­ton of the New Cli­mate Econ­omy project in his video for the Cli­Mates summit.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Note: You can use basic XHTML in your comments. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS