Ask a COP26 expert!

The Topical Talk Student Hub gives you a chance to ask questions of experts about each Project. COP26, the United Nations Climate-Change summit.

Fantastic questions which have been asked specifically to one of our experts, based on what they've achieved or researched, is what we're looking for. We then pick 5 questions for each expert and publish their answers for you to see (see an example here!).

We have now asked picked questions for Al Gore, Shaama Sandooyea, Dhruti Chakravarthi but you can still ask questions of Hernán Payaguaje.


Our experts

Former American Vice President Al Gore (QUESTIONS CLOSED)

Al Gore was American Vice President between 1993-2000. He is now the founder and chairman of The Climate Reality Project, an organisation devoted to solving the climate crisis.

He is the author of several best-selling books on the climate crisis - including "An Inconvenient Truth" and "Earth in the Balance". He is the subject of the documentary movie “An Inconvenient Truth,” which won two Oscars in 2006 and a second documentary in 2017, “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power.” In 2007, Gore was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, along with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, for “informing the world of the dangers posed by climate change.” Al Gore's Ted Talks on climate change have been viewed over 5 million times!

Watch him explain the climate crisis to children families below (this video is from 2018). What questions do you have for Al Gore?


Marine biologist and climate activist Shaama Sandooyea (QUESTIONS CLOSED)

Shaama Sandooyea is a Mauritian marine biologist and climate activist who held the world’s first ever underwater climate strike in the Indian Ocean. Shaama held up signs saying: “Youth Strike for Climate” and “Nou Reklam Lazistis Klimatik” (Mauritian creole for “We Demand Climate Justice”), and these gained a lot of publicity. Learn more about her protest below. What would you like to ask Shaama?


Dhruti Chakravarthi (QUESTIONS CLOSED)

Dhruti Chakravarthi was chosen to be an observer at COP25 - the last United Nations Climate-change summit, through the University of Edinburgh. According to their website, observers help to interpret what is happening at the COP and explain this to others, amplify the voices of people that aren't being heard, and much more.

Dhruti was selected to represent India as a Climate Reality Leader at a course in Los Angeles, and she also won the Commitment to Sustainability award from her university for outstanding contribution to sustainability in the community.

Dhruti is also the Editor of the University of Edinburgh Student Newspaper. Watch her talk about curiosity (and butterflies!) below.

What questions do you have for Dhruti?


Hernán Payaguaje

Hernan comes from the indigenous Siekopai community of San Pablo, Ecuador, located, where his people have lived for generations.

Hernan made the most of the unique opportunity to study at university, where he began to believe that for his people to survive in a rapidly changing landscape, they would need to learn to use modern technology, as well as legal and political systems, to their benefit, while maintaining a strong cultural identity. Hernan was a founding member of the indigenous organization Ceibo Alliance - which represents the indigenous people of four nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon - A'i Kofan, Siekopai, Siona, and Waorani - who decided to come together in an alliance to fight for the defence of their culture, territory and life.

Hernán would be particularly interested in your questions about speaking up for indigenous peoples in global discussions and his experience of this in the past. Learn more about the Ceibo Alliance, which Hernan helped set up, below!


Add your questions in the comments below. You can ask more than one, but keep it in the same comment and only ask one per expert.

We will pick five for each expert and then post their answers here on the Student Hub!

Structure your questions like this:

This question is for e.g. Catherine Brahic. My question is...

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