Ashley Brown

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At the COP26 U.N. climate summit, some of those with the most to lose insist they aren't victims, they're warriors.

"As a Pacific Islander, a lot of people think my role here at COP is to come and cry, like I owe them my trauma, when I don't owe you my trauma," said 23-year-old Brianna Fruean, a climate activist from Samoa.

Fruean opened the first day of the summit in Glasgow, Scotland, speaking directly to the heads of state from all over the world.

As young climate activists descended on Glasgow for the COP26 UN climate summit, Vanessa Nakate was faced with a familiar yet sad experience: Being pushed to the side.

"I think it's not just my experience. There are many activists from the global south who have been sidelined at the conference," she said.

Nakate is no stranger to the world stage or being erased from the record, having attended another summit last year in Davos, Switzerland.

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In a crowded house above a pub in Scotland, Ruth Miller is busy planning her next move.

The 24-year-old Climate Justice Director for the Alaska-based grassroots group, Native Movement, is one of nine young people squeezed into the four-bedroom rental in between attending events at the COP26 UN climate summit.

But even having to stay an hour's drive outside of the main conference venue, they are among the activists who are insisting the politicians, dignitaries, and negotiators hear their stories, voices, and expertise.

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Now, think back to the campaign trail - yes, way back to 2020 - and you might remember this idea that candidates like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren were promoting.

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