November 8, 2017  |  

You are Exceptional!

A Blogpost by Anita Béguelin, Co-Leader WGCOP. 

You know that you are exceptional. You are not mainstream. I am pretty sure, when you tell your friends back home about UNFCCC conferences, they don’t know what you are talking about. You are exceptions. But in the end, you should not be.

Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, took her time to have a meeting with YOUNGO, the constituency of Young NGOs. She talked to us about chances and challenges and gave her ideas on how we could improve our work. She made clear that more young people should be at conferences and that we have to work harder to show parties that we take the conference serious and know what is going on.

It is not easy to know what is being discussed in Bonn. Processes are complicated, and so is the language: the UNFCCC has its own vernacular. It’s full of acronyms, such as UNFCCC, or COP. But we learn more day by day – and we already learned that it’s okay not to understand everything.

The Intersessionals in Bonn are a good place to prepare for COP 22. We expand our network, we make plans for Marrakech and we also make friends. And in the end, we try to bring our experiences to our local YMCAs.

It may be complimentary to be called exceptional – but if we really want to change the system, we should not be exceptions. As long as only a few exceptional young people know about climate conferences and take action against climate change, we cannot achieve much. Every young person should know about it, and every young person has to take action. Spread the word. Take about climate change. Explain it to your friends who do not know about the urgency yet. Don’t waste food. Plant a tree.



Mike Roberts
Mike Roberts
There are few professions where you get to make a real difference, impacting individuals, families and communities on a global scale. The YMCA has given me so many opportunities - organizing soccer camps in Haiti, teen leaders programs in Zimbabwe, helping to develop cancer survivor exercise opportunities in America. The Y is so much more.

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