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What does it take to be a Climate Tracker?

By June 3, 2015 No Comments

The UN climate talks are well and truly underway, but progress has been slow. While there have been spurts of productivity, it seems that negotiators have been shying away from some of the key issues here in Bonn. Instead of  “streamlining” a bloated negotiating document, our national leaders are sinking into the deep-sea of diplomatic immobility.

In order to push them back into the spotlight, we have brought along two of our favourite Climate Trackers from previous UN climate talks.

What does it take

They are Federico Brocchieri, Raquel Rosenburg and Leehi Yona. Keep a close eye on their articles over the next two weeks. They’ll each be diving into some of the most critical issues here in Bonn.

But before they go any further, Joshua Wiese caught up with them to ask a few questions about what made them such great Climate Trackers.

Federico was first to share his overall thoughts on what it means to be a Climate Tracker, describing it as one big “multitasking” experience.

“Being a climate tracker means being multitasking: inside the conference centre you end up having to follow the negotiations, work with other people to elaborate proposals, establish relations with negotiators to get information and communicate the entire process to your audience in a clear and simple way.”

That’s exactly how I felt when I first arrived at the UN climate negotiations back in Durban in 2011. It was an amazingly tiring experience, and I never really knew if what I was doing was having a big impact, but I just kept on plugging away and after a while, you begin to learn what you’re good at.

I guess for Federico that has been his work on Intergenerational Equity. This is the idea that future generations will have the same opportunities that we have had on this now rapidly changing planet. Federico has been one of the key young people at the UN climate talks pushing this concept forward.

Not surprisingly, when asked what was Federico’s most exciting moment within the UN talks, he talked about some of his experiences lobbying for future generations;

“The most exciting experience I had at a UNFCCC meeting was when I asked some countries to support our proposal on the principle of intergenerational equity and after days and days of pushing things forward, one farsighted group of countries decided to endorse it at the last minute. They announced it to the UN climate talks and ensured it was  officially inserted into the negotiating text.”

I remember bumping into Federico just after this moment. He was surrounded in excitement, and naturally infected me as well.

Joshua then turned to Raquel, as he wanted to know if she could remember a moment when one of her articles, or her lobbying around the UN halls had resulted in a big policy shift.

Now, if you have ever seen Raquel work, you might even say this would be a hard thing for her to think of. But that’s because she has such a strong relationship with the Brazilian delegation, that she is literally pushing policy change every day at the UN climate talks.

However, Raquel reflected on a time when she was working to ensure that countries engage young people around the world on Climate Change.

“I wrote a paragraph during negotiations in Bonn last year I wrote an article where I described some of the work used by Engajamundo to connect young people through a program we called the Training of Trainers. This was an incredible program. Soon after my article, it was included as part of the submission made by developing countries during the negotiations.”

Moreover, Raquel explained that her “experience with Adopt a Negotiator” has helped her to fulfil her life-long passion.

“My time with Adopt a Negotiator has helped me a lot to make the first steps towards creating a national youth movement in Brazil called Engajamundo.”

As a result, Raquel also noted that:

“Being a tracker is more than talking to negotiators and trying to influence the international process – it also helps you learn about influencing power, and the importance of connecting with many more young people nationally, engaging them on climate issues when you come back home.”

Check out the webinar we hosted with them both earlier this week to hear more from these talented young people

About Chris Wright