Del­e­gates ready for cli­mate con­fer­ence

Auckland City Harbour News - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - TOM CARNEGIE

Three Auck­land cen­tral res­i­dents are gear­ing up to hold the Gov­ern­ment to ac­count on cli­mate change.

At just 17 years old, Na’or Al­fassi Berman is the youngest mem­ber of the New Zealand Youth Del­e­ga­tion head­ing to Mar­rakech, Morocco in Novem­ber.

The del­e­ga­tion is mak­ing the trip to cam­paign for ur­gent cli­mate ac­tion at the 22nd United Na­tions Frame­work Con­ven­tion on Cli­mate Change (COP22).

Berman, who lives in Grey Lynn, turns 18 (the cut-off age for the del­e­ga­tion) only a week be­fore it leaves for Mar­rakech.

Other Auck­land cen­tral res­i­dents in the del­e­ga­tion in­clude law stu­dent Alex John­ston, 20, and Rachel Do­bric, 24, a youth char­ity sec­tor worker.

Berman, who is a poet, says his role in the team is de­scribed as an ‘‘ac­tion ninja’’.

‘‘My task is to get peo­ple at home aware of what is hap­pen­ing at the con­fer­ence.

‘‘It is about putting our Gov­ern­ment and world lead­ers to ac­count. We will be a voice for New Zealand youth at the con­fer­ence,’’ Berman says.

Be­ing part of the youth del­e­ga­tion is some­thing Berman says he has wanted to do for years.

It has even driven him to com- plete his last year of high school, achiev­ing NCEA with Ex­cel­lence, a term early so he can can at­tend the con­fer­ence.

‘‘We stand at a crit­i­cal mo­ment in his­tory and the fu­ture at once holds great peril but also great prom­ise.

‘‘Join­ing hundreds of youth from around the world, I be­lieve we have a fight­ing chance,’’ he says.

While this will be the first time Berman and John­ston have at­tended a COP sum­mit, it will be Do­bric’s sev­enth.

Dur­ing the con­fer­ence the del­e­ga­tion mem­bers will be work­ing long days and nights, Do­bric says.

She says COP22 will fo­cus on putting the Paris Agree­ment, signed at COP21, into ac­tion.

‘‘They have dubbed COP22 the COP of Ac­tion,’’ she says.

The Paris Agree­ment is a deal be­tween United Na­tion mem­bers to limit global warm­ing to a 2 de­grees Cel­sius in­crease by 2030.

New Zealand has signed the agree­ment but is yet to rat­ify it.

Cli­mate Change Is­sues Min­is­ter Paula Bennett has pre­vi­ously stated rat­i­fi­ca­tion will hap­pen by the end of 2016.

COP 22 runs from Novem­ber 7 to 19. Go to givealit­tle.co.nz to make a do­na­tion to the NZYD team.

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