Fighting Climate Change with the United Nations
Posted 01/11/2019 11:01AM

Grade 11 Keystone Student Aurora Yu Takes Us Behind the Scenes

The 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 24) was held in Katowice, Poland. The conference consisted of a program of events in designed to demonstrate how countries, businesses, and governments can best implement changes in order to reduce harm in the global environment. One of the youngest members of the Chinese Youth delegation, Grade 11 Keystone student, Aurora Yu, attended the event, representing Keystone Academy and youth voices worldwide.


Passionate about climate change, Aurora’s dedication to this cause stems from her childhood fascination with nature. Prior to the conference, Ms. Yu participated in Keystone’s Expedition to Antarctica during the 2017-2018 academic year, as well as the Online Youth Exchange program, where students learn more about climate change issues with peers from around the world.


Below Aurora speaks candidly with the Marketing and Communications Department about her involvement in this year’s conference and what she hopes to bring to the Keystone community.


Briefly describe your interest in climate change issues why you decided to become a youth participant in this year’s UN Climate Change Conference (COP24).

Since childhood, I’ve always been interested in nature. I loved playing outdoors because it allowed me to observe plants and creatures in the environment. This experience made me think a lot about what’s currently happening in our environment. Last year, I was fortunate to attend an expedition to travel to Antarctica with two Keystone teachers. I did a lot of environmental observations of glaciers, polar region animals, and learned a lot about the impact of climate change in Antarctica. I was shocked by the tremendous detrimental impacts global warming have caused to our planet, and so I began to learn about climate change issues and the role the UN has played in climate governance. Because of my passion and knowledge in this area, I was selected as one of the Chinese Youth delegates invited to participate in this year’s COP24 conference.


What were the greatest merits of attending this year’s conference?

By attending this conference, I learned about how multilateral negotiations work and how to interpret negotiation results in a more professional manner.


What did you learn from the conference and what do you hope to bring to the Keystone community?

The message that I think is really important to bring to the Keystone community is this: climate change is not only important to climate experts and government officials but also relevant for everyone on this planet. We can make changes in many different fields, for example in architecture, journalism, energy, public policy and so on. No matter what we do in the future, we need to remember climate change adaptation and mitigation requires contributions from each and every one of us.


What words of advice would you give to other students interested in pursuing their passion to in helping to combat climate change?

I think students can help tackle this issue on a global and local scale. There is a ton of information and official documents regarding climate change and the Paris Agreement is on the official website of UNFCCC so that people can learn about climate change on a global scale. Students can educate themselves on the climate change issues around them in order to learn, and to implement measures to help combat climate change locally.

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