What is COP21? Well, COP stands for “conference of parties” and next week, from November 30th to December 11th, Paris will be hosting the 21st COP since the beginning in 1995. Climate change among other global issues are the very core of COPs, but this year it is so much more important as people are finally realising how serious of a problem it is.
On November 24th and 25th, the French International School held its COP21 youth conference. More than 350 students from Year 6 and Year 12 participated in this special event. Last Wednesday was designed for the secondary students, and over 180 came together for a day of learning, creativity and passion.
The French Consul General, our Headmaster, the representative of Hong Kong for COP21 Ciara Shannon, the director of WWF Gavin Edwards and other important people gave inspiring speeches and joined us for a fruitful day of activities. Speakers from a variety of environmental NGOs led sessions of the conference in the morning; there were many different topics such as arctic climate and the effects of deforestation. In the afternoon the NGOs along with other volunteers ran interactive workshops on sustainable practices and many interesting ideas were explored such as aquaponic farming and marine microorganisms. Nearing the end of the day, we gathered in the auditorium and shared the pledges we made and our action plans, which have been sent off to Paris.
Climate change is a problem for our generation to clean up, yet youth are so often left out of it. This is our future, and we have the capacity to change and better it for the sake of the planet and of future generations. The event was an eye-opener and gave us the rare opportunity to add our voices as youth. We are privileged to have been a part of such an important, historic global event.
“Je suis la planète!” “I am the planet!”