Bounding towards the UN

Published 12/9/09: http://www.mountainx.com/news/2007/120909the_green_scene/

In just a short while, after finishing up my last final exam tomorrow, I will be getting on a plane to Copenhagen, Denmark. I’m headed to the Danish capital, as many of you know, for the United Nations climate change negotiations that are being held from December 7-18. Like many who will attend, this will be my first UN Conference. I am attending with the youth delegation of SustainUS: The US Youth Network for Sustainable Development. We have been preparing our plan for Copenhagen as a team since July and my anticipation for this trip has been building along with it. I will be attending to elevate the representation of young people and our voice at these historic negotiations. Youth have a lot at stake in these negotiations and as a result we are rising up to meet the challenge of our time–ensuring a safe, healthy, and secure future for us all.

In preparation for my attendance, I have been consuming articles about the negotiations, policies, and the international youth climate movement with rapt attention. I have also found myself sharing stages with mayors and speaking before crowds reaching over 300. I’ve given almost a dozen speeches and presentations in the past couple months, from the local Sierra Club to the Western NC United Nations Association. The amazing outpouring of support and enthusiasm I have received, initially caught me off guard. Quickly though, it has reaffirmed for me why advocacy for climate solutions is the cornerstone of my life and has help sustain a new level of personal commitment to this work.

I will do my best to keep you all updated on my view from the ground, as I find my place among it all. I’ll be working with the communications of the SustainUS delegation and the international youth delegation to coordinate communications on behalf of the youth present. This will likely involve writing press releases, holding interviews, and writing blogs about what we are doing throughout the two weeks. You can stay posted at the SustainUS blog, Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube or you can also follow my personal blog and Twitter (if that’s your sort of thing).

As leaders ante up their climate commitments and demonstrations amplify, the eyes of the world are shifting towards Copenhagen. The UN negotiations will bring together world leaders and people from all sectors of society. This conglomeration of 15,000+ people in the UN conference (and many more outside) will make for an energized atmosphere where undoubtedly, great things will be accomplished.

Thank you all so much for continuing to inspire me and for your generous support in helping me get to Copenhagen!

All the best,

Ellie

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