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Clarkson Senior Traveling to Bali to Participate in U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change
[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/zswank.jpg]
Clarkson University senior Zachary Swank of Dewittville, N.Y., will participate in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 13th Conference of the Parties meeting in Bali, Indonesia, December 3 to 14.
At the convention, Swank and the other 21 members of the SustainUS U.S. youth delegation group plan to contribute to international policy, work to persuade government delegations to take action on climate change, build relationships with international youth and "show the world that American youths are committed to climate justice." The SustainUs delegates have dedicated over 2,200 hours of volunteer time to prepare for the negotiations.
The delegates hope that the negotiations will spark a new framework for the international response to global warming. The SustainUS delegation plans to demonstrate that youths are taking the lead in their communities in fighting global warming. "It is ultimately our generation who will be dealing with the effects of decisions made today, so youth voices must be represented at the conference," says Swank.
Swank, son of Susan Brown and Steven Swank, is a political science major with a computer science minor. He is a member of Clarkson's Honors Program, a past Clarkson University Student Association senator and is a member of Sigma Chi fraternity.
He has also been involved with a number of environmental organizations and initiatives to make the campus more sustainable. Swank is in the process of writing a thesis on how to move the concept of "sustainability" out of the academic world and into law, which he hopes will be the focus of his career.
He spent last spring and summer working for the World Wildlife Fund's U.S. Government Relations Department and plans to spend next summer and the next couple of years thereafter volunteering for the Peace Corps.
The SustainUS U.S. youth delegation is a part of the internationally recognized SustainUS Agents of Change program, designed to facilitate youth involvement in international policymaking and advocate for a sustainable future. The students were invited to join this delegation after a highly competitive, national selection process. The delegation draws from outstanding young leaders, including a Rhodes Scholar, a Watson Fellow, a human rights videographer and an elected official. The delegation together speaks 13 languages, despite all being under the age of 25. If you are interested in following the negotiations as they happen, they will be posted daily on the following Web sites, starting Dec. 3: http://www.unfcccbali.com, http://youtube.com/profile?user=SustainUS and http://www.itsgettinghotinhere.org