Born and raised in Northland, Sam Sharp thought the whole world was blessed with what she had in her backyard. “I eventually learnt that the world picture is not like the one I had grown up with, which motivated me to go to university and learn more about what is really happening.” As part of the NZ Youth Delegation (NZYD) team to Doha, Sharp will be heading to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change next month to represent the interests of NZ youth. “Among other things,” she says, “[NZYD] have been working on ‘Connected Voices’, a project that aims to get the voices of youth in countries who cannot attend – which is the majority – heard at the negotiations.” Being part of the global climate movement has allowed Sharp to mix and mingle with youth from countries as far-flung as parts of Africa, Tuvalu and Canada. “It’s pretty inspiring to know that there are youth working alongside you in their own countries.” She hopes New Zealand will lose the climate rhetoric and start actively reducing greenhouse gases. “To live up to our ‘clean and green’ brand we need to start changing our priorities now before it’s too late. This means actually investing in green technologies, leaving our coal, particularly lignite, in the ground, and putting infrastructure in place that reduces our emissions,” she says. Sharp will be completing her degree at the University of Otago next year and is a keen surfer, musician and camper.
Sam Sharp holds the symbol for the connected voices project, where youth from all around the
globe take an image holding a circle with the message they want their partner countries to take
to the UN Conference of the Parties.