Working for our Future
By Kara-Lyn Moran
I’ll admit that some days the climate crisis seems too big to tackle, too much to solve, and that we are not doing enough to save our planet. It can seem like the leaders that make laws or represent us at climate change conferences are too far from the average person, like characters from a movie. As a young person, it can seem like I must wait for my time, that I am too young or inexperienced to make a difference.
This is, however, not true. I can do something and the climate crisis can be solved. It will not be easy and we need serious actions to make it happen, but we have hope for a future and that is what I am working for.
Being selected to be a part of the Episcopal Presiding Bishop’s delegation to COP 27 was thrilling. It has been an invitation to be a part of the action and join the other delegates as we work for something bigger. It is wonderful to be in the company of such passionate and driven individuals, from choir directors, to seminarians or PHD students, who inspire me everyday. This was a call to me, that I belong in the company of such important and notable people. Together we form one delegation, where my experience and age are valued as an equal part of the conversation.
Last year, I watched as my dear friend in college, Lucie, went to Glasgow to represent our student newspaper at the COP26 conference and the New York Times Climate Hub. She would not allow anyone to question her for her age and stood up for our shared future. Last year, I was inspired while watching her stateside, but this year it was my turn to use my voice to make a difference.
Growing up in Iowa, I was always watching and trying to be an adult. I wanted to be taken seriously, and to me that meant being older or wiser. But I remained scared that I did not know enough or would not be taken seriously. Once I reached college however, I learned from people like Lucie, that you cannot wait for the world to take you seriously but you must be ready to show the world how serious you are.
At this year’s COP, I am excited to be one of the many young delegates. It is encouraging to see that November 10 is the Youth and Future Generations day, where the concerns of the youth will be brought to the forefront of the agenda. On this day and during the conference, the issues I especially want to be brought forward are ambition, loss and damage and environmental justice. I do not want to see another COP move forward without real action, we need leaders to be accountable and take real action, following through with promises.
As I participate in this year’s COP27, I have been especially motivated to keep working for our future by activists like Xiye Bastida, a 19 year-old Indigenous Mexican climate activist and Vanessa Nakate, a 25 year old Ugandan climate activist. They are encouraging me to be more vocal about the issues I care about and becoming a more vocal climate activist.
A moment I will not forget was during a panel about human rights and climate change, I was struck with the passion and intensity that Vanessa Nakate spoke with, emphasizing our need to accelerate adaptation and mitigation for the climate change crisis. She said, “There is so much that young people are doing, there is so much that young people have been doing for so many years, trying to find a future, trying to find a present. All we want is to be listened to, all we want is action because it is devastating to see what is happening in our communities… We have no choice but to fight because if we don’t fight for our present, what kind of future are we going to walk into?”
This is why I will keep working, for a future to walk into.
I am Kara-Lyn Moran and I am thrilled to be a part of this years delegation. I am a recent college graduate who majored in environmental and religious studies. My work focuses on the intersections between environmental justice issues and religious community of all faiths. This year I am participating in the Episcopal Service Corps as a member of Grace Year, where I am serving and learning. I am excited to be able to participate in COP27 to make positive changes for all people and our planet.