Chosen as Youth Leader on Nature-Based Solutions, Amanda Krijgsman, researcher of Wageningen Environmental Research, was invited to represent Western Europe during the UN Youth Climate Summit in New York. There she found that ‘the empire state of mind’ in Wageningen is not so different from New York.
“You probably all heard the song the Empire State Of Mind from Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys once in your life. You know, how they catchy sing: ”New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of, there's nothin' you can't do”. Well, being in New York, marching for our climate, attending the UN Youth Summit and the UN Nature-Based Solutions Momentum, I’ve never seen the similarities between New York and Wageningen so clearly before.
Last week New York was the world stage that desires to boost ambition and accelerate actions to implement the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Looking back into history, there have been tons of high-level events like this, since the Club of Rome published their report The Limits to Growth in 1972. I question how these events have helped the world.
Lack of exchange of ideas and feedback
I am attending the UN Climate Summit, because Youth4Nature has selected me as ‘Youth leader on Nature-Based Solutions’. This was the first time that I attended an UN Summit. It felt impressive, also because the level of security is a bit intriguing, and also a bit strange. The meeting setup is as follows; every leader, from government, business and civil society, is asked to speak for 3 minutes. They basically explain what they are doing or planning to do about the topic of the meeting. What I noticed is that it is not really a meeting. There is no exchange of ideas or feedback.
Nonetheless I am optimistic about this Summit. For the first time, millions of people all over the world joint climate strikes and are raising their voices louder than ever before. Youth, parents, people, now actively stand up and demand their political leaders to act. And it is noticed.
Stand up, connect, share and act
That gives me the empire state of mind. The lights and streets in New York are exciting. But I found that, in Wageningen, I am in the empire state of mind all the time. There is this atmosphere that is so motivating to do something good for the world. The discussions that we have in Wageningen are inspiring. We can do more with this energy, our will and knowledge are so powerful! Please join me, my colleagues at Wageningen University & Research, Youth4Nature or others, and do something to combat this climate and ecological crisis. Stand up, connect, share your knowledge and ideas, and act. We are in this together and we need to continue to raise our voice.”