University students took part in a civic workshop yesterday in the hope of attending a UN climate change conference in South Africa this year by becoming “youth ambassadors” for the Taiwan Institute for Sustainable Energy (TAISE).
After sitting an online quiz, the 200 top-scoring students were able to attend a public workshop on carbon reduction organized by TAISE at the National Taiwan University yesterday. The workshop focused on global warming, climate change, green energy and energy policy.
Thirty students will be chosen to join a training camp in August, with a final five selected to be delegates, who will be funded by TAISE, at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) 17th annual Conferences of the Parties (COP17), hosted by South Africa, starting on Nov. 28.
“Global warming is an international problem that needs to be dealt with by people from different backgrounds and professions,” said Ku Young (顧洋), TAISE chief executive and professor at -National Taiwan University of Science and Technology.
“But you’ll find it’s more of a political affair with discussions on responsibilities, rather than scientific discussions at the conferences,” Ku added when telling students how complicated the problem is because of conflicts of interest between nations.
Sharing his experience as a youth environmental ambassador last year, Lee Mu-huan (李牧寰), a student of earth science and photonics at National Cheng Kung University, said the experience not only raised delegates’ awareness, but also helped them to think more about what can be done in Taiwan.
Lee said they also took part in a parade for non-governmental organizations to show the world that Taiwan, although not a signatory of the UNFCCC, has young people who also care about climate change issues.
Chang Liang-yi (張良伊), a graduate student of anatomy at National Taiwan University who has attended the COP for the past two years, said the experience allowed him to learn how to make decisions and act quickly when meeting many people with different opinions.