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What Surprised Me at COP

Here's what surprised me about the conference

I don't mean to complain or put down the conference but some things at the conference really shocked me. One of those things was how privileged I felt being there.

One of the focuses of this year's COP was indigenous peoples and island nations, people who are being directly affected by climate change. Some of the groups and individuals have even become climate refugees: people who have been forced to relocate due to climate change. As I listened to people talk about the possibility of being forced to relocate I was horrified. I felt privileged to be sitting there a high school student from the United States (one of the biggest emitters of greenhouse gasses) listening to some who lived within the direct impacts an issue my country had helped create.

As a Minnesotan I don't see the direct impacts of climate change in my everyday life. I had come to the COP as a student and an observer in hopes of learning more about the Unite…

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