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Emspon '19 Travels to Climate Conference

Monday, November 20, 2017

Ian Empson '19 served as a youth delegate at the United Nation Framework on Climate Change Convention's 23rd Conference of the Parties in Bonn, Germany, in early November. 

After participating in the Climate March in Washington, D.C., last April, Ian was motivated to become more involved with climate change issues. He hopes to continue to educate students and his peers about climate change.

"As youth, we are the future and the driving force towards halting climate change," Empson says on the Climate Generation website. "Overcoming this growing issue could not be possible without education on the subject. As my generation grows older, it is imperative that we are brought up learning the truth about climate change."

Empson also believes it is the youth who can start making real difference in regards to climate change.

"Finding the most effective ways to solve the issue of climate change may be up to the professionals, but the youth can do the rest. Youth have some of the most creative minds. With our creative minds, we can always find ways to get people interested in learning more about climate change as well as getting people on board with performing simple acts such as recycling or carpooling. I have heard young students perform spoken word and songs discussing real challenges we face due to climate change, which were far more moving than the hard data. I believe that the youth can without a doubt get local politicians on board with the Paris Agreement, even if the federal government can’t."

Ian traveled with his mother, Cheryl Olseth, to the conference. They remark, "Participating in the United Nations COP23 was inspirational and life changing. Throughout the world, governments are discussing issues resulting from climate change such as drought, food shortages, rising sea levels, and extreme weather events, which bring fires, hurricanes, cyclones, flooding and excessive hail. Listening to Al Gore passionately present what is happening around the world in regards to Climate Change was a highlight.  As was,the Prime Minister of Fiji and COP23 president."

You can read more about the Empson's journey on their blog.