The Fourth Session of the UN Environment Assembly took place between 11th – 15th March 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya. But really to witness the informal negotiations, a lot of stakeholders, myself included, arrived a week before the official assembly. Again a first for me, I learned quite a lot about navigating negotiations in a UN environment (pun intended).
I start this blog post with that provocative title because this was literally my experience at my very first COP 24 session in Katowice, Poland. For those who may not understand some of the abbreviations allow me to give a quick intro:
COP – Conference of Parties
UNFCCC – United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
YOUNGO – Youth NGOs also the official youth constituency to the UNFCCC
PAWP – Paris Agreement Work Program
I got into the whole COP negotiations coffee-crazed, sleep deprived, life changing session because of a thing my organization did with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. That is another story for another day. So this thing, allowed me to earn the privilege of participating in the GSCSY (sorry another acronym) short for Global South Climate Scholarship for Youth, where I met amazing youth advocates from all over the world, literally. I am talking three continents from the global south with a rich diversity in culture and the way we all view how climate change affects us.