Climate Voices

August 19, 2021
By: Climate Generation

Introducing Climate Generation’s COP26 Delegation

Introducing Climate Generation’s COP26 Delegation - Photo

Climate Generation is excited to introduce our delegation of six climate leaders from across the United States that will attend the UN’s international climate negotiations (COP26) this November.*

At COP26, world leaders will strategize on the rulebook for the Paris Agreement, which was ratified and signed in 2015. Our Window into COP26 delegation will represent Climate Generation and their own professional work that supports Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE), the specific goal within the Paris Agreement to empower all members of society to engage in climate action through education, training, public awareness, public participation, public access to information, and international cooperation on these issues.

Our work at Climate Generation is grounded the principles of ACE – since 2006, we have been igniting and sustaining the ability of educators, youth, and communities to act on the systems perpetuating the climate crisis across Minnesota and beyond. The Window into COP program elevates the critical role that an engaged, educated, and activated society holds in pushing the just and equitable action that is needed. Our delegation is a member of the official U.S. ACE Coalition, a group of organizations, institutions, and experts working to accelerate just, efficient, all-of-society action towards a climate-safe future.

Meet our Delegates

Nicole Montclair-Donaghy
Executive Director, North Dakota Native Vote

I come from an extracted State, where oil, gas, and coal are more valuable than earth, air, water, and human life. I want to be a part of building a clean energy future in our region, so that our relatives may live.

Ashley Fairbanks
Creative Director, 100% Campaign

I want to bring people to take climate action with joy and optimism.

Kyle Hill
Assistant Professor, University of North Dakota, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Dept. of Indigenous Health
Associate Faculty, Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Center for American Indian Health

I am uniquely aware of the contributions that Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledges, have conveyed in support of the balance of our ecosystems. At this time Indigenous peoples represent only 5% of the global population, yet we protect 80% of the Earth’s biodiversity.

Deborah Riddle

Deborah Riddle
Special Education Teacher, Chicago Public Schools

I am excited to represent the work of Action for Climate Empowerment at COP26 because it is a very important work and also a great way to share ideas with others. I am interested in learning additional ways to engage my community, especially the younger generation, in how to become more responsible in how we treat our environment.

Julieta Rodrigo
Program Manager, The CLEO Institute

I value its commitment to inclusive education and local-level climate action as an effective way to accelerate a just transition. With the climate in crisis, it is important to highlight diverse voices and ACE’s belief in the transformative power of diversity in civic participation gives me hope as we build the future we wish to see.

Betsy Wilkening
Education Outreach Coordinator, AZ Project WET – University of Arizona
President – Polar Educators International

I believe that we can create transformational change by working together towards a shared and just future, where everyone has the opportunity to thrive in a sustainable world.

In addition to our COP26 delegates, we are sending two youth delegates to the Conference of Youth (COY16), in collaboration with Outrider Foundation. COY16 occurs in the days before the COP26, where a global youth statement will be submitted to the UN Climate Change Conference.

Munira Behre
The New School-New York Art

I believe the climate crisis is one of the top issues that need more global attention. I feel that it is my responsibility to amplify the urge for action from our leaders.

Zaria Romero
Conservation Biology & Psychology
University of Wisconsin-Madison

I am excited to represent the youth voice at the Conference of Youth in Glasgow because I think real change will occur once specific policies are put in place to mitigate climate change. Climate change is a global issue, and I believe the best climate solutions will come from working together globally.

Follow Along: International Climate Policy for Everyone   

Our Window into COP26 program follows these six delegates as they blog, photograph, video capture, and livestream the negotiations –– sharing the impact, solutions, and people behind climate change solutions and action around the world. Whether you are new to the climate movement or have been here for a while, our daily email digests and first-access content from COP26 will keep you in-the-know on what’s happening in the most pivotal COP conference of our time.

On the heels of the latest IPCC Report acknowledging the warming our fossil-fuel burning economies have already locked in, it is more important than ever that an international system is solidified for implementing and increasing the Paris Agreement greenhouse gas reduction commitments. In addition, the United States officially returned to the Paris Agreement, and announced a commitment to cut our greenhouse emissions in half by 2030, demonstrating a strong U.S. presence of support to our global community.

“COP26 can be a moment where the world unites behind a fairer, greener recovery from the effects of Covid-19. A recovery which delivers for both our people and our planet.”

Alok Sharma, COP26 President, UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy 

*COVID-19 Disclaimer: While our plan is for our delegates to report live from COP26, we are watching international COVID restrictions and cases closely and the Window into COP program may take place virtually.

Are you an educator? Follow along in the classroom with our COP Educator Toolkit!