On November 4th, the Paris Agreement will officially come into effect, and at the time of this article’s composition, eighty-six countries have ratified the agreement. This accord aims to bring a strengthened, collective response to addressing climate change, as well as to keep the Earth from warming more than two degrees Celsius. This November 7-18, leaders from all over the world will be congregating in Marrakesh, Morocco, for the Conference of Parties 22 (COP22).
Remarkably, a Trent student will be attending the climate talks. Brendan Campbell, 3rd year Indigenous Environmental Studies (IES) student will be departing on November 2nd as a Canadian Youth Delegate, one of only eighteen chosen to attend. You may know him, as this individual is hyper-involved within the Trent Community. Campbell is currently your Vice President of Campaigns and Equity, Head Fire Keeper with First Peoples House of Learning, as well as being involved in a myriad other Trent organizations, such as TUNA and TISA. Campbell’s message to the conference is focused on environmental racism and nation-to-nation relations.
I am involved in the Trent Nogo-COP22 Coalition (TNC), which is an informal organization of Trent students who are organizing for COP22 and to support Campbell whilst overseas. Step one to our strategy is surrounding outreach; we strive to connect students from different backgrounds to gain a plurality of perspectives. This, thus far, is in motion through contact with student and community organizations. Step two is the “stand up, speak out” notion, whereby we have focused much of our attention on the #LoveTheLand Campaign. This campaign will allow for students and community members to connect with and celebrate the land around them, as well as to reflect on places that they cherish and want to protect. The idea is to snap a photo of the location and write a little bit about why you #LoveTheLand. I am calling out to all of you readers to accept this challenge and share why you want to protect this land. It could be because this is your home, your happy place, a place where you can go and cry, or a place you cannot imagine your life without. Share these images all over social media and help us raise awareness about the Morocco talks, as well as the risks that faces our planet, and ultimately human survival. To encourage individuality, we want you to share these images and stories in your own languages! Step three is Bring it Back [to the Community]. A major component of Brendan’s campaign for VPCE was the notion of community. There has been discussion about the sharing of knowledge that Campbell will have gained whilst in Morocco, to help educate students and to connect global issues to a local context.
Campbell is one of the most passionate, dedicated, hard-working, and incredible individuals, and no one better could have been chosen to represent the Trent community. You can be assured that he will bring focus and energy to the climate talks to ensure that the necessary questions are asked and answered by those who are chosen to govern. I want to call out to all of you who are interested in COP22; I am currently compiling questions that students and community members want to ask to the world leaders in Morocco. I am putting together a portfolio for Brendan to take overseas, and I am asking that if you have any questions, please email [email protected] with them. We look forward to connecting with you all and bringing Trent to Morocco!