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The Conference of Parties 14 (COP14) begins!

December 2, 2008

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On the 1st December 2008, thousands of delegates around the world descended on Poznan, Poland for COP14. This marks the beginning to a 12 day conference involving a total of 185 countries. At the opening ceremony, Mr. Maciej Nowicki, the Polish Minister of the Environment was elected as a president of the global debate on climate change. COP is the biggest assembly of countries – parties to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change. (more information available at http://www.cop14.gov.pl/index.php?lang=EN)

For the first time in a opening ceremony, Maciej Witkowski, a Polish youth made an appeal on behalf of the The Youth Climatic Summit. He said, “Everyone of us has influence on our Planet’s climate. We, the youth, also want to help the world and leave the Earth in a good condition for future generations. The future of the Earth doesn’t depend only on the knowledge of scientists and politicians activities, but mainly on the attitude and awareness of the society. There are people who will not be convinced, but there are also others who simply do not know how to help our planet.”

At 6pm every day, there is an award show parody named Fossil of the Day where countries are being nominated by the Climate Action Network. The Fossil of the Day is awarded everyday to the country that is most obstructive to the international process.

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Prior to COY14, the youths had our own conference – The International Conference of Youth. It was a weekend packed with policy introductions, workshops, discussions and we got to meet youth delegates from all walks of life. Seeing so many other youths fired up and enthusiastic about saving the environment can be really inspiring and at the same time pretty discouraging. I would say discouraging because there are so many movements and campaigns being done, which makes me feel like I am not doing enough. Benjamin and Rui Yan share the same sentiments.

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