Sam Sharp

Element - - LIFE STYLE -

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.

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