SOI Alumnus Andrew Wong (Arctic 2010) represented the SOI Alumni Delegation and YOUNGO, the official Youth Constituency of the UNFCCC, in speaking at the opening day plenary session at COP19 UN climate negotiations in Warsaw, Poland.
Below is Andrew’s blog post on his experience along with a transcript of his speech.
Speaking in the Plenary of the COP19 UN Negotiations
by: Andrew Wong
On the opening day of the COP19 UN Climate Negotiations (November 11), I had the immense privilege of delivering a youth statement to the plenary at COP19. Present in the plenary were delegates representing all UN member states. I feel very humbled to have represented youth and future generations in speaking for the planet. I hope that the message I delivered resonated with party delegates and helped increase a sense of urgency here at the COP19 negotiations and beyond.
I strongly believe that it is our moral duty as humans to each other to do right on climate change because people’s lives are on the line and so much is at stake. Just two days before I delivered the plenary speech, ten thousand people from the Philippines perished from the super typhoon Haiyan. It was the strongest typhoon ever recorded, a typhoon that made stronger and more deadly by climate change. What does it take for us to wake up to the devastating effects of climate change? More loss of life? To quote Yeb Saño (passionate lead negotiator for the Philippines): “If not us then who? If not now, then when?” As a global family and as citizens of Planet Earth, let’s rise up to the occasion, work together and address the greatest issue of our time.
To listen to the speech: COP19 Youth Intervention Andrew Wong (Canada)
To read the full transcript of Andrew’s speech and follow the Students on Ice Alumni Delegation blog: SOI Alumni Delegation