COP24: Why am I not in Poland?
Updated: Oct 22, 2020
Early this year, I had every intention to attend the 24th Conference of Parties (COP24) to the UNFCCC a.k.a. the Katowice Climate Change Conference.
Since 2017, I have been a part of the Malaysian Youth Delegation (MYD), a local youth climate group that focuses on Climate Policies. Through MYD, Malaysian youth delegates have been attending COP since the momentous COP21 in Paris where the Paris Agreement was adopted.
I thought I could be one of the delegates to attend the upcoming (happening now) COP.
Alas, shit happened.
What Went Wrong
As the designated Fundraising Coordinator, I failed to mobilise any fundraising efforts or secure any funding opportunities for the team. This was partly my fault, and partly the lack of team effort as well, I believe.
I couldn’t make time for deeper studies to prepare myself for the conference and I couldn’t write articles to show my understanding, which is a requirement for an MYD member.
My full-time job restricted my attending any important meetings like the meeting with Yeo Bee Yin, the Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change (MESTECC).
I wasn’t resourceful enough or did not cultivate the right disposition to network with politicians and business owners.
I just simply wasn’t organised enough to set aside time for things that could’ve mattered.
What’s done (or not done) is done.
There’s always a pinch of regret but I’ve managed to put a bandage on the wound by being involved in other stuff like volunteering for the Malaysian Vegan Society, which has been fulfilling.
But still, it would’ve been awesome if I’m now in the freezing winter of Poland being overwhelmed by all the climate chatter both youth and people in suits would be on about these couple of weeks.
What Shall I Do
To allow myself to climb from the depths of despair and disappointment, I shall instead resign to being a keyboard warrior.
As my knowledge in climate policy is scarce, I’ll mostly be commenting on COP24’s actual environmental practices (to see whether they walk as much as they talk) and also any drama that’s bound to happen.
As to my affiliation with MYD, it’s rather blurry. I’m still in the loop of things but I’m not actually there. On one hand, I feel like dissociating myself completely to unburden myself, but on the other, I feel like sticking around just to know what’s going on.
But I guess it would be unfair for me to hold on to something that is not adding value to my life at this point in time. So I did express my intention to leave the group mostly to “unburden” my mind but also because of their lack of proper structure, accountability, and the fact that most of them aren’t even vegan or at least cutting out meat (no offence, friends, but you must acknowledge that animal agriculture is responsible for 18% greenhouse gas emissions, more than all transportation combined).
But who knows, as I’m getting more organised and focused on my intentions to seriously educate myself more on this climate change topic and also to get more money, perhaps I will (finally) attend COP as a Malaysian youth delegate or any other affiliation, one of these years. I just hope that that would be before the world collapses.
Whatever it is, you ain’t seeing the last of me in this climate change scene!