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Anne Sietsma

Anne SietsmaName:

Anne Sietsma 

Job title:

PhD Student Big Data and Climate Change Adaptation 

Area of work and why it’s important

Within my PhD, I am working on creating a global overview of adaptation efforts. This is important for issues like the Global Stocktake under the Paris Agreement – the current method is basically to summarise what countries submit by hand, but finding a way to automate at least part of this process might be both more transparent and more comprehensive, as well as taking less time. In addition, I am involved with organising the Conference of Youth (COY), which is helping young climate activists to organise ahead of COP. 

What will you be doing at COP26? 

This Conference of Youth is taking place the weekend before COP itself. With climate activists joining from all over the world, it will be a great opportunity to learn from each other and form a global network of change makers. The workshops and talks will also help everyone to be more effective activists. Last but not least, we have been gathering the demands and ideas from young people on climate change. During COY, we will bring these together into a policy statement, which will be presented to Alok Sharma, the COP26 president. Delegates from YOUNGO, the UN youth constituency, will use this statement as well when they are speaking at the negotiations. 

What are your hopes for the COP26 negotiations?

In an ideal world, young people would also be involved with creating the solutions – not just at a youth day where some people get to talk to ministers, but as a part of country delegations doing the negotiating. But that is perhaps more something to work towards over the next few COPs. For this COP specifically, honestly, my hopes are not high. The basis should be for the Global North to make good on their promise to provide 100 billion dollars per year to the Global South, as well as strong rules on what gets to count as “new and additional” climate finance. Without that, I do not see the negotiations moving ahead with the urgency we need.  

Any tips for readers about climate action?

Just get involved. Join a march. Join a group that you think is doing good work and when they ask “who would like to help with this?” stick your hand up. Even if you don’t know exactly how to do it yet, you can learn while doing something good. If you plant yourself close to the grassroots, you will find all sorts of cool people and positive vibes, even on a crisis as looming as climate change. 

Read Anne’s blog about COY16 and how to get involved