Cécile Schneider: 'We need to do more!'

Article published on Jan. 22, 2016
Article published on Jan. 22, 2016

This article has not been vetted by an editor at Paris HQ

Cécile is a perfect example of a Generation Yer, who doesn't shy away from the challenges we face today. At 25 years old, the German/French millennial has made a conscious decision to take matters into her own hands. She is a member of 'Progressistes pour le Climat', a blogger for 'The Verb' and an employee of the NGO 'Conservation International'.

Cécile has worked for the environmental NGO for almost two years, where she utilises her expertise at the interface between development work and environmental protection. The aim of CI is namely to protect our natural resources, that are so essential to our wellbeing, by means of sustainable growth and eco-compatible development. The organisation therefore seeks to trial innovative solutions, which if proven successful, will be implemented on a larger scale.

"If we find sustainable palm oil projects in Indonesia for example, it's my duty to relay the findings of such projects to EU politicians, presenting the results when important political decisions are being made" she explains. 'My goal is to make the production of palm oil more sustainable for European consumers, which should consequently, help put an end to deforestation'.

COP21 - High expectations, little success?

Cécile will attend COP21 in December. ' I expect from COP21, the emergence of  a new global climate agreement bound under international law, that will replace the Kyoto-Protocol in 2020'. However, we still face many challenges. All parties must agree on the fundamental issues that divide the developing countries and developed countries. Asian countries for example, usually demand compensation in the aftermath of climate-related disasters. Additionally, the financing of new climate measures remains a significant controversial issue. 'I am coming to terms with the fact that there will certainly be a climate agreement, but one that is so loosely worded, that controversial issues will remain open to debate and will still need to be discussed'.  Idealism meets realism.

A call to our generation: We are not recycling enough waste!

It's not just politicians who need to take a vested interest in climate change. Cécile believes that a collective awareness of the issue among the general public is essential if we are to combat climate change. In her opinion, people are not making enough of an effort: 'Many Kreuzberg residents have convinced themselves that by recycling waste, by using canvass bags rather than plastic carrier bags, they are playing a role in the maintenance of a sustainable society." 

However, everyone should be aware that the everyday decisions that we make as consumers, have implications - for other states and for future generations. Developing this consciousness is however a cultural educational issue that first and foremost, must first be addressed in school canteens'.

It is never too late to live a greener life.