Posted by: Camille Cristina
Camille Cristina is 18 years old and currently a trainee at Elanco’s Latin America Life Cycle Management team. She studies International Affairs at FECAP college in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Camille is co-founder of Coletivo MAABI , the Afro-Brazilian Indigenous Alvarist Movement, and has been part of Engajamundo, a youth organization, since 2020, acting as articulator of the working group on climate advocacy. In November 2021, Camille traveled to Glasgow, UK, to attend the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26). Here’s what she experienced:
The most marginalized usually have the least voice. Every step we take to change that is a step that changes the world. That’s why I was thrilled to have been selected to attend COP26 on behalf of Engajamundo, a youth organization speaking out for environmental and social justice.
Engajamundo was founded by a group of passionate young people who believe in their responsibility to play a key part in the solution to the greatest social and environmental challenges. The organization has participated in more than twelve UN conferences and assemblies on climate change and gender equality so far. As such, my fellow environmentalists brought perspectives of youth and minorities to the negotiations on three international agreements currently in place: the Paris Agreement, the UN’s 2030 Agenda and the New Urban Agenda.
Our 2021 delegation to COP26* stood another chance to push for climate justice. Our group was deeply diverse: Women and men, black and indigenous people from all urban and rural Brazil joined forces. I was proud to travel with people of different abilities and across LGBTQIA+ representation. Young people who believe that the world can be a better place.
At the conference, we wanted to make our voice heard. COP26 opened many opportunities to debate with decision makers, including Brazilian federal deputy Tabata Amaral. We, the youth of Brazil, demanded greater influence on the national agenda. State and municipal initiatives are playing an important role in promoting the climate agenda across Brazil. Thus, our advocacy plan focused on sub-national actors and we talked to numerous mayors and governors at the conference. Besides, we rallied federal negotiators to commit to more ambitious climate goals and take immediate action. Our goal is to revise the national emission targets of Brazil, reducing the nation’s contribution to global climate change.1
Overall, I felt a lot of ambition at COP26, mainly directed at achieving carbon neutrality and defining ways to put an end to deforestation. Unfortunately, still too little was said on how to ensure a just transition for all.
Still, for the first time I witnessed greater participation of young people, the generation which is most impacted by today’s climate action and brings important perspectives for a better tomorrow. The actions of the elders will have direct consequences on the future of the youth – so who else could lead the way?
In the end, we’re all affected by climate change, even if not equally. But climate action concerns everyone. Of course, not everyone can attend COPs. But there’s a lot each individual can do. Staying informed, demanding actions from governments and making purchasing decisions with the environment in mind takes little effort but can have big impacts.
As a young professional at Elanco, I’m excited to contribute to making our commitments for a healthier planet become a reality.
In 2021, Elanco released its first Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Summary including disclosures on climate-related metrics. As part of its 2030 Sustainability commitments, Elanco pledged to help livestock farmers reduce at least 21 million tons of emissions from their farms, a direct contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals #13: Climate Action. Read more here.
1 In 2021, the Elanco Foundation announced a partnership with the JBS Fund for the Amazon to jointly support the RestaurAmazônia Project, which promotes sustainable farming and environmental conservation in the Amazon. Over the next three years, the Elanco Foundation will provide $450,000 to Solidaridad Network, the international civil society organization managing the project.