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Mr David Ellis (email)
Media and Communications Officer
Marketing & Communications
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
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Thursday, 3 December 2009
A University of Adelaide student will add his voice to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen next week.
Eighteen-year-old Joel Dignam from Hampstead Gardens is a member of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, which is sending a delegation to the UN conference in Copenhagen from 7-18 December.
Joel - who is studying for a degree in Electrical & Electronic Engineering at the University of Adelaide, with a focus on sustainable energy engineering - is the only South Australian member of that delegation.
"The climate change debate takes on new meaning in the wake of the global financial crisis," Joel says.
"Many argue that the world cannot afford to take the necessary steps to address climate change because industry and business are already suffering. We will be asking: how can we afford not to address climate change? The future of the planet - and our very existence - depends on it.
"It's important for youth to be represented at this conference. Our generation has to be the voice of future generations who - if an ambitious treaty is not achieved - will pay the price for our short-sightedness.
"This conference is our best chance of reaching a global agreement on climate change that will benefit humanity, and we hope to do our part to lobby for that," Joel says.
Joel will fly out of Adelaide tomorrow, thanks to financial support from the Adelaide University Union (AUU), the University's Faculty of Engineering, Computer & Mathematical Sciences, the Government of South Australia, and a number of private donors.
"Today's university students will be tomorrow's leaders who will inherit the consequences of climate change," says David Coluccio, General Manager of the AUU.
"Youth need to be engaged in achieving resolution on climate change and so we're very pleased to be able to support Joel in this mission."