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Young Voices – Joanna MacDonald

In COP15, Young voices on November 12, 2009 at 2:50 am

Canadian flagJoanna is a third year Environmental Science Co-op student at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. For the past two years she has been contributing to the effort to ban bottled water from campus with the Guelph Students for Environmental Change. Her experience with climate change issues is very diverse spanning from climate change standards and carbon accounting to youth engagement on climate change. At the beginning of next year Joanna will begin a research project focused on the health impacts of climate change on Inuit in Canada’s North. She will be going to Copenhagen as a member of the Canadian Youth Delegation and is thrilled to represent Canadian youth at the negotiations and work with international youth to have the youth voice heard loud and clear.

As a newbie to the international realm of climate change, Copenhagen will be my first COP. I am far from a policy expert or an experienced activist…what I bring is a fresh and creative mind and enthusiastic and dedicated spirit. As a member of the Canadian Youth Delegation I look at the other delegates and am amazed at what they have done and are doing to contribute to the youth climate movement in Canada. This is what motivates me – The amazing people I am surrounded by. I know that we can accomplish anything we put our mind to and I am so excited to be a part of that! At the end of October hundreds of Canadian youth came together in Ottawa for PowerShift Canada – the atmosphere was one of hope and possibility. We gathered on Paliament Hill and joined thousands of other Canadians for the International Day of Climate Action to send our demand for strong climate leadership to our government. To date I have been ashamed of the leaders in Canada and know that I am not the only one who feels this way. My hope for Copenhagen is that Canada will step up so I can once again say “I am proud to be Canadian!”

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