One of many cool things about building a climate movement is that you get to meet and work with all sorts of people and hear stories that show how impossibly diverse and fun and full of energy this climate community is. Anna De Roo is one of these people – she has been helping with 350 Aotearoa projects and volunteering with other climate organizations around here, and this year is part of NZ Youth Delegation in climate negotiations in Warsaw. This is her story (with some seriously awesome MS Paint drawings!)

 When Madara asked me what had led me here, I had to think about it for quite a while. How did I end up at this point exactly? It was hard to pick a logical beginning point, but I suppose I would have to go back seven years to when I first saw “An Inconvenient Truth”…


In my fear-induced zeal I tried to put my entire family on a carbon diet. This didn’t particularly endear me to my family. And the transition to 3 minute showers proved difficult.


I quickly realised that small individual actions were not really sustainable or particularly effective. Since I seem to receive all my life advice from documentaries, the next step forward came with the movie “Manufacturing Consent”.

In this documentary there was something about the simple idea of social movements creating “…communities — real functioning communities of mutual support, democratic interchange, care for one another, and so on” that really struck me.

So I tried to find a group, it turned out to be harder than I expected. My first experience of being part of a wider movement was at a 350 stunt. It involved bringing umbrellas to Cuba Street to build a storm-wall. It was good gateway drug…


Which eventually lead me to joining the organisation Generation Zero. Being part of GZ was really exciting – it was the first time I had worked with a group that had a long-term strategy and a track record of actually getting stuff done. I had been used to various high school environmental groups. These clubs always seemed to set the modest goal of getting a compost bin – a goal that never eventuated. One day I’ll get that compost bin…

Anyway…I feel that I went from individual actions, to one-off stunts (I should mention that 350 doesn’t just do stunts, they currently have an awesome divestment group), to group /organisation-work, and now it has taken me to the New Zealand Youth Delegation. This has further opened my mind – both with understanding the larger international picture behind climate change – and the greater responsibilities involved in working with a small team.


The New Zealand Youth Delegation is trying to open up the weird and wonderful (and infuriating!) world of the international climate change negotiations to a youth audience. So if you want to hear up to the minute news about the negotiations from Poland – and with minimal use of acronyms – please follow us on our website!

I have really appreciated working with the hard-working and passionate people at every stage of this process – and wanted to point out that although there is not much that’s happy about the topic of climate change, working together with other people on this issue has been one of the best times I’ve ever had.” 

P.s. If you liked Anna’s writing and drawings as much as we did, check out her “Story of The Climate Change Negotiations: The Trilogy“, she has style and she has wit, and she has gotten the facts right  – what else a good climate blogger needs?