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Eleina is a member of ECO Singapore, hoping to bring forward the gravity of the climate change issue in Copenhagen this December. The group is part of the International Youth Climate Movement (IYCM) at the 15th Conference of Parties (COP15) of the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) .

There is a lot to be achieved through this year’s COP-15 to ensure we take concrete steps against climate change. We cannot sit back and do nothing or continue on empty promises, because this is our future. 50 years down the road, we have only ourselves to be answerable to- did we do anything to protect our earth, our survival?

As youth, a significant contribution is that we bring the future to the present. While leaders are hesitant on agreeing on midterm binding solutions, we must force them to realize that if they do not act NOW, it will be too late and their children will be the ones bearing the consequences. We are key stakeholders, and we need and want to be heard.

Through interacting with each other over the past two days during the Conference of Youth (COY), we gained better understanding of each other’s needs, national and cultural difference. But through these differences, we saw commonalities. We have a common vision towards sustainability and when it comes to the environment, we have to be in it together- because what one state does or did, will impact all eventually.

As such, we will bring our stand to the leaders here at COP-15. To ensure our stand is valid and concrete, the youth team will keep close track of policy developments and target specific issues while vocalizing comments.

Along with this, we aim to make climate change a more tangible issue. Showing how climate change is currently affecting and will affect us, we aim to humanize the issue. This to force leaders to view the policies they are negotiating beyond their short term goals and self interests.

We will also be voicing our opinions to delegates on a formal platform through which we will share the views of youth from various nations. While doing so, being a diverse group of youth, we will ensure that views, opinions and demands are not biased to only the developed world. Rather, we will ensure that the less represented and underdeveloped states are given an equally strong voice.

The youth movement is not limited within Copenhagen. This is a global cause and a global movement. We ALL have a say in the issue. Thus, another aim for us based here is to be the channel through which others can view their opinions, hopes and ideas.

But how far can the youth movement go? Very far indeed. But any change of value takes effort and sacrifices, and every step is a move forward. United as one global movement, leaders around the world will not be able to continue ignoring our demands.

As mentioned by Michael Zammit Cutajar Chair of the Ad-hoc Working Group on Long Term Cooperative Action, the space for youth has grown. We are increasingly being given an opportunity to voice up. We have to ensure that we focus our actions through understanding the political realities and push through our inputs.

Furthermore, none of us are alone; rather it depends on how far we will unite through understanding each other and our commonalities, and take the courage to continue fighting. COY has left me inspired and energized to push forth for this cause, and I am sure I am not alone. COP-15 this year will see an unprecedented energy among youth, and the leaders ought to be prepared for it.

This article was originally published at

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