Adri Arquin is a member of Climate Generation’s Window Into COP23 program, a multi-sector delegation attending the United Nation Framework on Climate Change Convention’s 23rd Conference of the Parties (COP) in Bonn, Germany. Our delegates will observe sessions and interact with climate change policy negotiations across international leaders and stakeholders.
Arquin is an 8th-grade student at St. Paul Academy. He has been interested in the issue of climate change and global cooperation for a long time. At his school, he has found that many people care deeply about what they can do, and what we as a generation need to do, to help solve this massive issue. He wants to show that people his age care a lot about the problems that are being discussed at COP23. He is excited to go to COP23 and bring back the knowledge to share with many of his peers at St. Paul Academy. He hopes that through this whole experience, he can learn more about these topics that are interesting to him and his peers.
How does climate change affect your community sector?
Climate change has caused massive changes in the landscape and animal behaviors, which in turn has affected many native groups. One example from the U.S. has to do with the indigenous population of Alaska. The rise in sea level and temperature has caused these communities to lose access to their native foods and clean drinking water. Health and livelihood have been affected by the rising temperature and the decline in sea ice too. These are just examples of how native groups are being affected by climate change. There are many more around the world.
How can the U.S. contribute to climate change solutions and uphold our commitment to the Paris Agreement?
I think to help uphold our commitment to the Paris Agreement we need to put many resources to the cause. One of the most significant sectors is renewable energy. Many people have started putting solar panels on the roof of their house and garage. The rise in wind and hydropower has caused an increase in the percentage of renewable energy production in the U.S. I also think that it is essential that the government puts priority on this issue. Without sufficient funding from the state, it will be tough to do anything to help this problem.
Why are you excited to attend COP23? What are you most looking forward to?
I am most excited about visiting COP23 to learn more about the things I am interested in, and I want to be able to bring back more knowledge to my school and help my peers learn more about climate change. By going to COP23, I can show that youth in Minnesota care about climate change and are committed to making the earth better for future generations.
What change or progress do you hope comes from the conference, whether that’s personally or politically?
I hope that during this conference we can show that all nations are committed to making climate change a top priority. This is a massive problem, and total global cooperation is needed to help us solve it. Personally, I hope that I can learn more about how climate change affects a country’s political decisions. I also hope that I can show more people that the majority of the U.S. still thinks climate change is an important issue.
Where is your favorite place to be outdoors in Minnesota?
My favorite place in Minnesota to be outside is on the North Shore of Lake Superior, especially Grand Marais and Artist’s Point. This site has always been special to me because it was one of the first places I visited on the North Shore andI have been there a lot since.
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