We only got 10 days to save the world!
Attending the first week of COP27 brought me many new experiences and milestones. It was the first time that I participated in COP in person, coordinated the preparation of a policy position paper, co-organized and co-facilitated a COP side event with high-level panellists, and participated in a protest. It was a great occasion also to meet with Member Organizations and other young activists. I think young people did their best at this COP to make a powerful impact on progressing climate action. The Children and Youth Pavilion was always filled with an audience, having interesting events and influential speakers. I am very proud of our delegation, as we maximized our time, engaged in many activities, organized bilateral meetings with negotiators, developed a position paper together with European youth NGOs on phasing out fossil fuels, and the list goes on.
On the other hand, it was disappointing that all these efforts and demands were not warmly welcomed by decision-makers, who still tend to come up with weak excuses instead of taking responsibility and finding solutions.
The lack of transparency in negotiations further deepened our anxiety. Not only we had no access to negotiations as Observers, but also there were no newsletters or other reliable sources to follow how the negotiations were going. To this date after COP27, writing my reflections, I am still not aware of the outcomes. It makes me question how climate action will be implemented without any level of inclusivity, leaving key stakeholders completely out of the discussions.
Overall, I learnt a lot, exchanging with youth coming from different regions and realities, as well as with experienced policy-makers and experts, and listening to technical panel discussions and roundtables. It gave me a lot of motivation and hope to see young people working together, fully committed to a better future and I am grateful that I could take part in these efforts. It seems we have still a long way to go.