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#Team NOVA: Diana, Our Young Climate Ambassador 

Since the beginning of the year, Diana Neves, Junior Project Manager supporting the Communication Department and Welfare Services at NOVA University Lisbon, has been one of the chosen ones to give voice to the European Climate Pact, an initiative by the European Commission aimed at engaging people and organizations for a more sustainable Europe. 

Diana, 23, recalls that climate issues have been with her since she was a young girl and saw the first image of the Serra de Sicó, where she was born, in flames. In 2017, ashes rained down on the family home, while Pinhal de Leiria was consumed by fire. Today, she knows that millions of people around the world are suffering the worst effects of the climate crisis. And it didn't take him long to do something about it.

"Ambassadors have the freedom to act in a variety of ways, from developing scientific knowledge to promoting events that raise awareness of climate issues. Being certified as such gives us access to a variety of resources, not only for information but also for dissemination. It is something that facilitates contact with people, both in Portugal and in other countries".

In short, the main objective is to motivate and encourage everyone in our community to take a real interest in the issue of the climate crisis. "We know that the last few years have been very challenging, with growing economic inequalities and widespread fatigue. At the same time, fires are destroying our landscape and droughts are getting longer - for example, water is currently being rationed in the Algarve".

When asked what motivated her to become more sensitive to these issues, Diana shared the following family moment: "Once, during lunch at my grandmother's house, there was a news item on the television about the disasters that could happen if we raise the temperature by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. That's when she realised that everyone was very shocked by the images they were showing, but they didn't understand what it all meant, or whether we were close or far from that moment.

The European Climate Pact, of which she is an ambassador, is a programme that is part of the ambitious European Green Deal and aims to achieve carbon neutrality in the European Union by 2050 - that is, to reduce emissions to zero by 2050. This means significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere (ideally by up to 90%) and promoting compensation for the remaining emissions, for example by increasing forest cover and correct land use.

As for how we can get involved, Diana points out that small gestures can make a difference and stresses the importance of being informed and involved in projects close to home. For example, through volunteering programmes or promoting beach clean-ups - as is the case with CAPonLitter.

As a civic and global university, NOVA is committed to contributing to the solution of the climate crisis and is developing work on the university's roadmap for climate neutrality and resilience, led by Pro Vice-Chancellor and Sustainability Coordinator Julia Seixas.