“It is not enough to just say you will do it, but you have to say we will do it”

During the WEEC2019 conference in the Bangkok city of Thailand we had a chance to meet Niclas Svenningsen who was really kind and showed great interest into our being there and interview.

Just after his speech in the opening ceremony, We, timidly, went next to him and asked him if he could spare some time to us for an interview. He, sincerely and very welcomingly, accepted our offer and started to find a quiter place to help us. At that moment all of our hesitations faded away.

We proposed him a couple of questions about environmental education, communication and global connectivity which are the main themes of 10th World Environmental Education Congress held in Thailand and he sincerely answered all of our questions. In short, It was an informative interview for everone. Here you can find the details.

Hallo Mr Svenningsen, Could please you present yourself for YRE students?

«My name is Niclas Svenningsen. I am working for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. I am responsible for our work on what we call as Global Climate Action, which is basically everything that is not so much negotiations, but engaging everybody else into this fight against the climate change».

In your speech, you mentioned that you conduct a programme called Action for Climate Empowerement of UNFCC. Can you explain the programme more in details?

«Action for Climate empowerement is something that has been in UNFCCCs since the very begining of 1992 and it contains six elements: Education and Training, public information, awareness and Access to engagement and then also international cooperation, but it’s really about the education and to have everybody involve in climate action basically».

“This is a war that you can not win with soldiers or bombs”. What do you think about today’s environmental situation? What are your expectations for the future?

«Well, it’s a big question. Today’s environmental situation could be better. We are at war against our planet. This is a war that you can not win with soldiers or bombs. You need to have intelligence and you need to work together. I’m optimistic, I think we can win this fight… I think we can do something about it, yet we need leaders who lead».

How can the environmental education be widespread to all around the World?

«That’s what I hope to learn from this conference. Every government under the Paris agreement, they have a commitment, a climate action plan. And that climate action plan also needs to include an element on ACE (Action for Climate Empowerment). They have to say how they are going to implement ACE. Today we need more ACE focal points. These focal points work with an industry of economy, infrastructure, transport, energy, the whole government and then with the rest of the society. We work for government to make them put effort on it . It is not enough to just say you will do it but you have to say we will do it».

Do you think the environmental movement efforts of today are enough? Why/ Why not?

«I can tell you that it’s getting better. I think that environmental movement have been there for many many years. However, I assume that the voice that has been out there through “Firdays For Future”, Greta Thunberg and many many others have really made all of us unconfortable for politicians which is good. It shouldn’t be confortable to not to do something, it should be unconfortable to do something. So we need more but we are improving.

Alin Aşım(15)

Ali Özek(16)

Young Reporters for the Environment (Turkey)