COP24: United Nations Conference on Climate Change

This December a team of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts will attend the world’s largest climate change event, Conference of the Parties, or COP 24. They will represent 10 million girls in 150 countries.

This December a team of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts will attend the world’s largest climate change event, Conference of the Parties, or COP 24. They will represent 10 million girls in 150 countries. Each year world leaders meet to discuss climate change at Conference Of the Parties, or COP. This year is COP24. It will take place from 3 to 14 December in Katowice in Poland. The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) is sending five girls to the Conference of Youth, a youth event happening the week before. 

Meet our delegates 

Aleksandra Polesek, Poland

My name is Aleksandra, but most people call me Ola. I've been involved with Scouting and Guiding since I was 7 years old.  I work at the national, regional and local levels with Związek Harcerstwa Polskiego (ZHP) The Polish Scouting and Guiding Association. Working across all of these levels provides me with a great deal of joy and satisfaction. I am looking forward to participating in COP24 as a member of the WAGGGS delegation. It's important for me to have young people at the center of discussions on such important subjects, like climate change. It is the responsibility of every person to do our part to prevent climate change. 

Emily Milton Smith, Australia 

I’ve represented WAGGGS twice at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, speaking about the potential of young people to be drivers of change in their communities.  I’m a Free Being Me facilitator, champion of the Global Goals and instrumental in bringing Voices Against Violence and the Stop the Violence campaign to my country. I’m passionate about building a more sustainable and vibrant world for all. We know climate change is a threat multiplier. It increases barriers to girls’ participation, as well as reducing and reversing progress on gender justice and equity. Collective global action is needed now to change course. Girl Guides and Girl Scouts can continue to be part of the solution.  I’m at COY14 and COP24 to speak out for the 10 million Girl Guides and Girl Scouts across the world disproportionately impacted by climate change. Girls must be at the centre of change efforts and their voices must be valued.

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Anna Pospieszna, Poland 

Climate change is one of the main challenges for today's society. However, for many people it is difficult to appreciate as the consequences are hard to see.  But in 2018, the future is now as the impact of climate change becomes visible. In Poland we have stronger winds and greater droughts. We have more insects and cyanobacteria blooms in Baltic Sea. WAGGGS delegates at COP24 will show how young people already making changes in their own lives. But individual actions are only half of the solution. These steps must also be supported by political action. I've been a Girl Scout since I was 13 years old and a leader since I was 18. I went on to become a district leader and I’m now on the Revision Committee. Both in Guiding and my regular life I try to be as environmentally responsible as I can. Guides and Scouts can set a good example for other people. 

Sonia Abbondio, Brussels

I have been actively involved in the field of youth work for the past eight years, first as a volunteer for an international youth organisation. Now I work as the WAGGGS external relations manager. I’m passionate about the Sustainable Development Goals, which are part of my daily work through education, peace, security and youth inclusion. I love advocating for youth rights, with the aim of creating a more sustainable, peaceful, gender balanced and inclusive society. I’m a former AUEU Youth Plug-In Initiative Fellow. This opportunity helped me to better understand how things like gender, climate and youth are important for nowadays society and how they can be linked and influence each other.

Ela Noga, Poland (WAGGGS representative)

I became involved with Guiding and Scouting in 1999. Since then I’ve organised many trainings, led Cub Scouts and Guides troop and been involved with my association on the district and regional level. Through my Guiding work I promote environmentally friendly behavior like reducing waste and help young people build a strong relationship with nature. I’ve joined the COY14 and COP24 delegation because the topic of climate change is very important to me, both as a Guide leader and a mother. I want the best for my Cubs and my own son, which means I want to act and help find the best solutions for climate change. I hope we can represent young people, especially girls and young women, to ensure their voices are heard and taken into account by decision makers. In my spare time I enjoy exploring the Polish mountains with my son, playing capoeira and riding bikes. I also enjoy reading, skiing, sailing and cooking. 

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Follow us on social media over the next two weeks to see what our delegates get up to at COP and COY. Visit our Twitter page here, our Facebook here or our Instagram here.

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