Friday, December 3, 2010

More on the Youth Involvement at COP16

This morning started off with another early meeting of the youth organizations. The meeting got off to a quicker start than the day before, as the issue of language had been solved and the translators were ready in the back of the room. The meeting began with announcements and went into discussions about presenting a report to the Secretariat of the UNFCCC. Announcements about the upcoming YOUNGO focal point elections were also given at the meeting. The meeting was going to be long (for the second day in a row), but students were began heading to the meeting for the contact group on Article 6 of the Convention. This article focuses on public awareness and youth involvement in the UNFCCC process which made it an important event for YOUNGO members to attend.

Contact Group on Article 6 of the Convention with party members and observers

There was a very good turnout at the contact meeting. Many of the non-negotiating attendees were members of youth organizations that showed up to remind those making the decisions why these negotiations were being held in the first place. To me, it felt as though little came out of this contact group meeting. Much of the time was spent discussing the wording of the document rather than content. However, mention of youth was included into the Article 6 document.

Young people are now included in the treaty document

When Section 6: Paragraph (e) was being discussed, the chair of the committee decided that this section should be deleted, despite the recommendations of the United States and the European Union. This section is the portion of the convention treaty that suggests that the Secretariat of the UNFCCC consider the integration of youth delegates into the negotiation process. The chair decided that this paragraph was inappropriate for Article 6 of the document and therefore was placed aside to be discussed at another time by a separate committee. Although some people that I talked to were disappointed as a result of the deletion, some were still hopeful that something good will eventually come out of this COP meeting.

I attended various side events for the remainder of the day including panels on urbanization, indigenous peoples, and impacts of climate change on human health. Also, I met the rest of the Moravian College delegation, many of which arrived yesterday. I have one more day to attend COP16, so I am hoping that I will make the best of tomorrow with my final YOUNGO meeting of the conference. I also plan on attending more side events and hopefully getting in contact with another Inconvenient Youth member who is scheduled to arrive tomorrow.

Red Cross/Red Crescent panel

I added this photo to highlight some the technology being used at the COP16 meeting. This display is an eight-screen interactive Google Earth exhibit.

Moravian College students, professors, and alumni in Cancun

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