Youth in Action

 

Josh Tregale

 

I am Josh Tregale from the UK. I am part of a climate education campaign in the UK called Teach the Future. When COP26 was postponed we saw an opportunity to show the world what it would look like if youth were the decision-makers. I started with Mock COP26 when it was a concept and then in September 2020 became one of the 18 Event Coordinators. I am now working as one of the Campaign Coordinators.

As a campaigner, I spend lots of time sending and reading emails and connecting with other partners who can further the reach of Mock COP26. This often leads to Zoom meetings with people who are able to give an insight into the COP26 or lobbying process and can help connect us to officials.

It was wonderful to meet with the COP26 President Designate Alok Sharma MP and with officials from the Department for Education. Meeting with politicians is always a great milestone but often the most fun and optimistic meetings are with other climate campaigns.

The hardest part is getting letters and emails to the right places and making sure they’re read and responded to. Politicians often take a long time to reply to requests.

I would love to see a step up in ambition at COP26 and to see leaders commit to doing all they can to reduce emissions and reduce the impacts of the climate crisis. I hope that through the continued effort and pressure applied by young people and other campaigns governments will feel compelled to act.

The amazing community that exists within the campaign and the urgency for action is what keeps me going. It is really important to remember to look after yourself as well and making time to switch off and rest is a great way to do that. There are so many campaigners around the world that activism is always happening, and you shouldn’t feel guilty.

I want struggling lobbyists to take a break if they need to! Then reassess and think of another way to approach it. It might be that lots of people have hit that bump and can offer advice or support. Even if it feels like it hasn’t been a success people start to notice when lots of people ask or push for the same thing. You might not immediately see the progress and success, but it will come at some point and you were a part of that.

 

Shreya K.C.

 

My name is Shreya K.C. I am from the lap of the Great Himalayas, Nepal.

I was a delegate at COP25, (25th conference to UNFCCC) held in Madrid in 2019. I was frustrated with the lack of ambition and since then I have imagined what a COP would look like if it was organized all by young people. So, when I got to know about Mock COP (MC) through an article published in The Guardian, I immediately applied to be a delegate from Nepal. Now, I feel so glad to be working as one among the eight campaign coordinators in phase 2.

It feels so satisfying to work with amazing young people, who share a similar vision and passion. I get to learn many things from diverse people and hearing their success stories gives me a new energy. Being a MC26 Campaigner, I also get an incredible opportunity to work with fellow Nepali youths to implement the MC Treaty in Nepal. I thank MC for providing me with this beautiful platform where I can connect our work from the national to international arena.

 We have already submitted the MC treaty to the Climate Change Management Division (CCMD) of Nepal. CCMD appreciated our work and our effort in preparing this treaty. They also have assured us they will implement the relevant treaty in Nepal. Now, we aim to engage with experts and local organizations, who will be a crucial support for us in lobbying and implementing the treaty.

As we are carrying out our work virtually due to covid, I struggle to communicate smoothly with the team, but slowly we are adapting to this new working environment. Also, trying to talk with politicians and policy makers can be difficult.

Lobbying the MC Treaty gives us a chance to make a real difference, rather than just talking and discussing things. Our end goal is to implement a few of the MC treaties, especially those of climate education and climate resilient livelihoods in Nepal. To achieve it, we will prepare a concrete roadmap that will consist of constant communication with relevant government bodies and taking suggestions from experts.

The implementation of the MC treaty benefits us all. If we can implement the climate education treaty, then we won’t need to protest about it anymore. This helps us organise our asks at the policy level, which is a huge task. Once it is implemented, we can work as watchdogs and ensure the policies are applied effectively.

Sometimes, I get burnt out but during such times I reflect on my own work, take proper rest and sleep enough. On normal days, working on MC treaty work only gives me more energy and satisfaction.

 

 

If someone is having trouble or experiencing a bump on the road lobbying:

  • I would like to advise you to take care of yourself more. Whenever we are onto climate work, we overwork and lack of proper rest only exhausts us more.
  •   I would suggest working in a team and in coordination with other people. It will give you a sense that you are not alone.
  •  Finally, you should take suggestions from elders/seniors, they definitely have a better plan!

I want to thank all the amazing people of MC for being so supportive and doing everything they possibly can. Our main aim i.e., to implement the MC treaty in at least 30 countries is not an easy task, but together we will definitely achieve it, if not more!