As I prepare to travel to Bonn for the COP23 Climate Summit, there are a lot of things that I am left to think about. The biggest one for me right now is figuring out what I want to learn while I am there.
As a youth figure, I want to bring a new perspective to the climate change discussion. Being able to see all the debates that will be going on between different nations and political leaders will allow me to learn lots of new knowledge. Sharing that experience when I am back at my school is something that I also have to prepare for. Being able to store that information and share it with the rest of my peers is essential to me.
Many people that I go to school with are very interested in climate change but aren’t able to have this opportunity. I want to be able to bring the life of the discussion back to my school. I hope to help the people that are really interested in this subject get more information, educate the people that don’t know as much about this issue, and maybe change the minds of people who are skeptical of climate change as a whole.
Another subject at COP23 that I want to focus on is how to incorporate climate change into elementary and middle school science and social studies classes. Over the last year, I have seen that my school has been trying to integrate climate change into both. In science, we worked on creating climate models and testing water for things like chlorine, bacteria, and turbidity. In social studies, we worked on designing new urbanist communities and natural disasters. While both of these subjects talked a lot about climate change, we need to be able to put it into more lessons and other stuff. Putting topics like climate change into experiences can help us expose younger kids to it. Adding these lessons to school will help us get more people more involved in the climate change conversation.
There is one thing that I needed to prepare before heading to Germany: learning more German. I am a third-year German student, and one of the biggest things to learn before heading to Germany is learning how to read a train table and schedule. Taking the trains in Germany is essential for transportation and knowing how to figure out when one is coming and when to get on is necessary.
I am excited to have the opportunity to attend COP23 in Bonn. I am confident that going will help me learn a lot more about the world in general, and how to help solve the gigantic problem of climate change. I hope that I can help bring about change for us as a society.