A Pin of Possibility and Aspiration for the World

I am headed to a world convening of change makers, influencers, activists, advocates, leaders, and policy makers; a convergence of people who I believe still have the capacity to find common ground, recognizing our common values of peace, dignity, and a healthy planet. The United Nations is a place where the world's nations can gather together, discuss common problems, and find shared solutions. In 2021 where the world feels increasingly divided and polarized, perhaps this sounds naive and idealistic.  Yet, many years ago my teachers, Girl Scout leaders, community leaders, and parents taught me that these civic values were to be actively fostered, practiced, and shared widely.

As a little girl someone gave me a United Nations lapel pin that I kept in my special box of things for many years. This pin represented a world much bigger than my rural Missouri community and the dream of travel to foreign countries. This pin represented hope in leaders, democracy, and peace between world leaders who created good for all people around the globe. I may have been naive, yet looking back that connection to civil society and my understanding of what the United Nations was gave me aspiration to believe these values were possible. And I do still believe they are possible to realize today. 

In only a few days I will stand in line to receive my COP26 NGO Observer badge from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as I join the convergence of nearly 20,000 people from around the world who are passionately committed to creating a world that is resilient, adaptable, and fair for all people to rapidly solve the climate change emergency. We will be arriving in Glasgow, Scotland during the Covid-19 global pandemic and committing to health practices that are inconvenient and stressful; yet we will still show up. Our world's long term health is worth the inconvenience and uncertainty of what may ensue while together in Scotland. To not only witness the work of finding common ground and shared fair solutions among the world's heads of state and potentially Pope Francis too, this will be a tremendous moment in my life both as a culmination of all I become to this point in time, and also as fuel to inspire my environmental education leadership forward. 

Being part of the U.S. Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) Coalition working to move the United States federal leadership to adopt a framework that prioritizes climate justice and empowerment for all people through job training, access to climate information, public awareness, education, and international collaboration feels hugely significant. This ACE Framework was developed out of the direction of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. If during the COP26 the U.S. leadership adopts it and folds it into the larger revised National Determined Contribution (NDC) to submit to the United Nations, that is a game changer. And, I am part of this this team; I am part of this incredibly important work. The career and life I have been living for years is validated by this ACE Framework. 

During these next few weeks of travel and at the COP26 I will wear the United Nations lapel pin from my childhood that represented so much for me. The capacity for collective action at a global scale, dreaming of relationships with people in foreign lands, and the possibility of a healthier planet is all coming together for me this week as I join in as an official participant in this international work. 

Follow my experience at UNFCCC COP26 at www.WildRoseEducation.com/UNCOP


  1. I love this, Sarah Rose. You go, girl, and take our love, hope, and best wishes with you. AHM


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