Reflections from COP

SFU's delegation reflect on key takeaways and learnings from COP 28, including innovative approaches to sustainability, the power of youth climate leaders, and the importance of deep and impactful connections with people from around the world. 


Attending COP 28 in Dubai was a transformative experience that reshaped my understanding of environmental sustainability. I am grateful for the opportunity to interact with a diverse group of global and Indigenous leaders. I was immersed in a dynamic blend of advocacy, ancestral knowledge, and innovation aimed at addressing climate related issues. The dedication to progressing environmental stewardship throughout multiple industries and the deep respect for Indigenous perspectives showcased the importance of the reciprocal relationships we share with our planet. These insights highlight the need for a united effort and collaboration of strategies for the well-being of our environment, not only for us, for but the next seven generations to come. This experience reinforced the importance of integrating sustainable practices into all aspects of life. As I progress through my MBA, I am invigorated by the synergy between modern education and Indigenous knowledge. My experience at COP 28 was more than just presentations or a conference; it was an inspirational call to action that has strengthened commitments to help pave a sustainable path forward.

It was a deeply impactful week spent at COP 28 in Dubai, and I couldn't be prouder to have represented Simon Fraser University and my home community of Cowessess First Nation at such a prestigious global forum.  I've seen firsthand how local insights can inform a global response to the climate crisis, however, I also witnessed climate contention. Through action and solidarity, we can better support the communities most effected by climate impacts. It is imperative that we demand accountability and ensure that sustainability is more than just a conceptual idea.

I look forward to continuing the conversations, generating momentum from the connections made and applying the knowledge learnt at COP 28 as we push for crucial shifts within our communities, industries, governments and beyond.


Attending COP 28 was a profoundly eye-opening experience for me. Being surrounded by a diverse array of passionate individuals, from activists to policymakers, all united by a common goal of addressing climate change was truly inspirational. It reinforced the value of collective action and the impact of shared knowledge. I learned about innovative approaches to sustainability from around the world and saw firsthand the urgency of the climate crisis. 

During COP 28, I had the opportunity to connect with many people around the world, people with different occupation, background, and age, but all united for a common goal. Despite the grim realities of our current climate predicament, it is evident that a collective understanding of the necessity for immediate, decisive action has taken root and is flourishing among advocates. From lawyers, to teachers, and engineers, everyone can take a step and make a change today that will impact our planet for good.

COP 28 significantly pivoted my perspective, particularly as an engineering student predominantly focused on the technicalities of climate issues. The conference illuminated how multifaceted entities including cultural nuances, economic systems, indigenous communities, and more are instrumental in propelling climate objectives forward. A key takeover for me, is that it has motivated me to integrate sustainable practices, evaluate effect on indigenous communities, and land use assessment into my future works. An indigenous delegate made a powerful statement, “The land doesn’t belong to us; we belong to the land,” and this has really stuck with me. It reminded me that whatever we do, we should always take care of the land that supports us all.


Climate COPs aren't just meetings for policymakers and scientists— it’s a place where people from all sorts of industries go to geek out about solutions for climate change. I’ve made so many new friends from other countries in just one week.

Though 1.5 degrees by 2100 is still a goal that we must strive for, I’ve learned the importance of “adaptation” for climate change when the focus is often on “mitigation”. I’ve listened to youths from around the globe advocate for health equity and gender equality in preparation for a future that will be affected by climate change. And I’ve found that working on a local level— in your community, town, city—  is key to achieving global impacts.

Back at SFU, I hope to take all the inspiration from the stories I heard and create and join spaces that allow for collaboration in creating climate change solutions. Being both Chinese and Canadian, I want to connect the youths of both countries and generally facilitate more dialogue between the Global North and South. I found that the viewpoints between the two sides often created a lot of misunderstandings and conflict during COP negotiations, and the concerns of the Global South were a reflection of the realities of a world that needed adaptation, but rich countries were hesitant in supporting them. I think when we foster more understanding towards those with differing viewpoints, then we can truly move forward in solving the climate crisis.