Listening to Youth, Climate Poetry, and the Inuit Celebration: COP26

Today was eye opening. I listened today. I listened to live translation today from languages other than english. I gave up my seat for a Peruvian man to have a microphone to speak. I was uncomfortable. I started to notice that I was not hearing American voices at the table. I am questioning many things about why the work we are doing with the U.S. ACE Coalition is not being endorsed and celebrated by more leaders back home. How does a United Nations commitment to increasing climate change education actually change climate change efforts in the USA? What is the real impact of UNFCCC Council of Parties in America in 2021? I have so much to learn. And I now see that America is not center stage. I'm beginning to wonder how I can be even more of a lever for effective climate change education and empowerment back home. 

Today the UNFCCC COP26 was focused on youth. I I listed to many young people (20s and 30s) speaking on behalf of the hundreds of thousands they represent who couldn't come to Glasgow. Their commitment to climate justice, inclusion, and demanding a true seat at the table was powerful and absolutely legitimate. As I listened to such articulate, smart, passionate, powerful young people from Japan, Germany, Trinidad and Tobago, South Africa, and beyond they resonated with me in vinceral ways. In particular, many of them shared that they had to fund their way to sit at UN youth delegate tables with gofundme campaigns and the like while negotiators are being paid huge salaries. So many youth, professors, farmers, indigenous people, educators, and others are not being paid their salaries while they are here. So many justice issues. Yet everyone who found a way to be here is here because they believe they have to be as this work on climate change solutions is critical. 

I spent the morning listening to the Presidency Event in Partnership with YOUNGO: Unifying for Change: The Global youth voice at COP 26. The young adults presented the following demands (following images):

The youth are requesting an integrated approach to all sectors of the climate change solutions. They believe youth should be part of the table negotiations. They are sick of being a sideshow of tokens that are not included in any of the decision making. 

Even young adult leaders during their panel discussions bring their infant children. Makes quite a necessary statement to be more inclusive of young women. 

Jane Goodall live streamed in to remind everyone that everyone matters and every one can make a difference. 

The plenary hall is ginormous; I could barely see the facial expressions on the panelists faces as they discussed climate change education with numerous country's ministers. 
The Vatican's Papal See Delegation took questions and considerations from the Global South during a small meeting I somehow got to participate in. 

Meeting Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain who is a member of the Vatican's delegation. 

Ended the day with climate and science poetry from They are releasing a video of a poet each day of COP26. Check out their website. 

And before leaving for the night the Cryosphere Pavilion hosted an evening celebrating Inuit people with their stories and singing. Traveling from the rural areas of the Arctic circle to Scotland for COP26 is incredible. 

And on my walk from Glasgow Central Station back to my loding, a real touch of reality of how the world really is. Hungry people being served food while a barber cuts a man's hair at 9:30pm. Dignity is being served.

A very full day. More to come.... 
Happy Guy Fawkes Day! The fireworks have been continuous all evening long. 

Follow Sarah's COP26 experience at


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