A Victoria student is set to head to New York next month for a United Nations conference on climate change.
Nicola Kean, a Political Science honours student and Salient feature writer, has been selected for the UN Student Journalism Programme, which gives her the opportunity to attend and cover the 60th Annual Department of Public Information/Non-Governmental Organisation Conference from September 5-7.
Kean is the only person from New Zealand to be selected.
More than 2000 representatives of NGOs from over 80 countries are expected to attend roundtables, panels and workshops during the 3-day event. The conference will review the scientific evidence on climate change, including its consequences on indigenous peoples, water security, land use and the politics of energy.
Kean believes climate change is a huge issue, and says “it was the Stern report that hammered home how much impact its going to have. And not in my great-grandchildren’s time, but in 50 to 100 years. It made for scary reading.”
The Stern Review is a report released last year by economist Nicholas Stern for the British government, discussing the effects of climate change on the world economy, and is one of the most widely-discussed reports on the subject.
Kean last week approached the VUWSA executive for a grant, but was told the grant’s pool has been used up. Her application has since been referred to the Cultural Clubs Council and Team Vic. Kean says fundraising the $4000 for the trip has “been difficult so far, but there are still other avenues to explore and people I’m waiting to hear back from. So I’m hopeful.”
VUWSA Environmental Officer Tushara Kodikara says the Kean’s opportunity is “great, for New Zealand student journalism, for herself and for Victoria University, it’s great for someone to attend a UN conference…I’m in full support of her going to this conference and reporting back what’s happening.”