Chris Bean observed the 2014 round of the UN climate negotiations in Lima as part of the NZ Youth Delegation, a volunteer organisation that brings youth closer to the negotiations.
Having studied climate change for part of my undergraduate degree, going into the negotiations as an observer I thought I had a pretty solid handle on things. Well, it turns out that humble pie became a staple at the negotiations. I had the privilege of attending the UN climate negotiation round as part of the NZ Youth Delegation in December 2014 and this blog covers some personal experiences that defined the negotiations for me, as well as some observations of the broader process and what’s coming next on my journey with climate change.
Confusion was the overwhelming feeling during the initial days of the negotiations. Forget solving climate change for now – it took me two days to figure out how to use the scheduling system. Embarrassing! After talking to some more experienced people at the negotiations, I learned this was not unusual and that it takes multiple rounds of negotiations to really get one’s head around what is going on. I have overwhelming respect for everyone involved in the negotiations, especially the negotiators and UN staff who have dedicated their lives to this work, as well as the youth driven to follow the negotiations year after year to push for outcomes that affect us all.