College student fights for climate solutions at UN summitBy Courtney Parker
Correspondent | November 19,2012
Green Mountain College student Scott Chernoff has always dreamed of making a difference in the world and now is his chance.
Chernoff, along with 15 other environmental advocates, will join SustainUS as they travel to the United Nations Climate Talks in Doha, Qatar.
The Climate Talks, which are part of the 18th annual meeting on the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change created in 1992, bring together representatives from 194 countries to negotiate reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. This year’s conference is expected to make headway on the topic and put in motion a consistent plan before the damage is irreversible.
“I’m proud to be representing the interests of my peers and Vermont,” said Chernoff, who is looking forward to putting his activist skills to the test.
As leader of Green Mountain College’s environmental activism group and an environmental science and policy major, Chernoff has been raising awareness on global issues such as climate change since he arrived on campus. He said climate change will greatly affect his generation and that’s why it’s important to focus on it.
“I want to look back and know I did everything I could,” said the Cherry Hill, N.J., native.
Youth were chosen for the trip through one of the many programs offered by SustainUS.
SustainUS is a national volunteer-based youth organization that inspires young people to create a more sustainable world through involvement in international summits and grass-roots activities.
The group has been in existence for more than 10 years and has successfully connected many young students to the United Nations.
Participants have the opportunity to partake in several UN conferences, including the Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Commission on Social Development and the Commission on the Status of Women.
“What we do today affects the world and community that we live in as adults,” said Michael Sandmel of SustainUS. Sandmel stressed the importance of youth activists taking charge and making their voices heard.
Sandmel believes that the voices of young people are frequently marginalized, but they are key when considering matters that will greatly affect their futures.
“These issues will most affect them,” he said.
The group will set out on Nov. 26 and return on Dec. 7.
“I love this planet” said Chernoff, “and I won’t let it fall to climate change.”MORE IN Local & State
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