New Zealand Youth at the Paris Climate Negotiations and Their Documentary Film

by Catherine Iorns
(New Zealand)

Simon Hillier

Simon Hillier

Young New Zealanders have been well-represented at COP21, observing and documenting it from their (youth) perspective, and building up notes and footage for a documentary film. They are there to learn about - and report on the progress of - the international climate negotiations.

Amazingly - for first-timers at one of these events - one of their efforts has already made world news for some of its coverage of the negotiations. As Buzzfeed notes, Ryan Mearns and Hamish Laing “22 and 24 respectively, have become unlikely hero-archivists at the climate conference thanks to a sprawling, very subjective, and GIF-filled Google doc.”

What has made it particularly notable is its “twentysomething dudes” approach, with the funniest and most irreverent take on such serious negotiations people have ever seen.

Documentary Film

Simon Hillier and Lottie Boardman from Wellington, also in the delegation, are providing the content for a student-run website on the Paris text as well as making a documentary film.

Simon, of Victoria University of Wellington, says that he has amassed notebooks full of observations on the negotiations he’s observed, as well as the work gone on behind the scenes. And it started before they even got to Paris, with a climate conference in Cambridge, the London Climate March, and Simon being interviewed about it all on a London radio station.


The documentary film project is perhaps their biggest undertaking. The aim of the film is to convey the scale of the conference and insights into their experience as youth observers at this historic conference - including about the positions taken on the agreement and the process. (Catherine Iorns, their supervisor and fellow Climate Reality leader, says "Think of 'The Island President' from a youth perspective.")

However, they have had to start a crowd-funder campaign to enable this project to go ahead. While they set themselves only 2 weeks to raise the money, now there is one day left to go and still over $1500 (NZ) to raise. And the way this crowd-funder works is that none of the money is released at all unless the minimum pledge target is met. So Catherine stresses that they really need all the help they can get.

=> Please visit their Pledgeme campaign page if you can help support their movie – even $10 helps (and $50 gets you credit in the movie).

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Contributions.

Return to Top of Page  

Like This Page?

Recent Articles

  1. Interview With Jonah Bryson: "If we fail to protect the environment, nothing else matters"

    Nov 07, 16 12:21 AM

    We had the chance to speak with Film Director, Musician and Conservationist Jonah Bryson during TIFF 2016. Bryson has directed “The Fight For Bala”, a

    Read More

  2. Climate is Back

    Nov 07, 16 12:19 AM

    As I engage relentlessly in the fight to mobilize a complacent public and encourage reluctant politicians to focus on climate change action, I’ve come

    Read More

  3. Politicians Need to Break Free From Fossil Fuels

    Nov 06, 16 11:39 PM

    It’s time to break free from fossil fuels! It’s not time to promote pipelines and expand tar sands production in an attempt to create short-term jobs.

    Read More

  4. The Tides They Are A Changin'

    Nov 06, 16 11:18 PM

    We are really screwing up the Earth, and not having another one handy we need to get the message out to change our ways before it's too late. We cannot

    Read More

  5. Dying for Your Planet

    Oct 30, 16 02:51 PM

    Have you ever thought about what you value so much that you'd be willing to die for? What immediately comes to my mind is that I would do anything to keep

    Read More

Alternative Energy








How to Help


Important News

Sign a Petition!