Alexia Leclercq’s Field Notes

Every week in the climate, science, social justice, and environmental spaces is as diverse as Uproot’s membership. Field Notes, our week-in-the-life blog posts, are snapshots of the varied experiences that make our community so vibrant. 

Field Correspondent

Name: Alexia Leclercq

Pronouns: she/they

Location: Dubai for COP28

Job description:  I’m the Policy Director at a Texas environmental justice organization called PODER and the Executive Director of my climate justice education non-profit Start:Empowerment

Years of experience: 6

Social media handles: @alexia.leclercq

One word to describe your week: Chaos

A Week in the Life

Hello everyone! My name is Alexia and I’m an environmental justice organizer with PODER and Start:Empowerment based in Texas. Come with me to the UN annual conference on climate change in Dubai, where I’m working alongside youth from all over the world to track negotiations and push for an equitable fossil fuel phase-out.


Today was a busy day. Between meeting with Trigg, the head U.S. negotiator for COP, planning for a high-level roundtable on an equitable fossil fuel phase-out, strategizing on our policy agenda, and navigating the maze that is the Expo Center where COP28 is being held, I was exhausted. I’m working with a coalition of international youth to push for an equitable fossil fuel phase-out (EFFPO) in the cover decision and we are following the Global Stocktake, Just Transition Work Program, and Mitigation Work Program negotiations.

International Youth working on EFFPO posing between meetings and following negotiations


Today is the one rest day for COP28 which last over two weeks. My friends Karin, an amazing activist from Chile, and Fatima-Zahrae, another amazing activist from Morrocco, headed out to explore Dubai. We danced to live music, made friendship bracelets, learned about local sustainable art/infrastructure projects, ate, and talked the night away.

Me and my friends Fatima-Zahrae (from Morroco) and Karin (from Chile) visiting Dubai during the one day off during COP28


Our high-level roundtable on an equitable fossil fuel phase-out went well and we heard statements from global leaders on the urgent need to transition away from fossil fuels and for the global north (Europe, Canada, U.S., Australia, Japan) to fund this transition. I caught up with several friends, listened to a panel on ecocide, and had countless strategy and policy meetings, and several work sessions for our EFFPO campaign.


There’s always one big action day at COP where civil society — all the activists, frontline community members, advocates — come together to protest for our demands. We marched to the beat of drums, singing, dancing and stood in solidarity with our Palestinian sisters and brothers to demand an immediate ceasefire.


I started the morning by passing out “not paid by the fossil fuel industry” and “we need an equitable fossil fuel phase out” stickers to people entering the conference. I had a speaking engagement at the Culture and Entertainment Pavilion and the Indonesia Pavilion where I got to share some knowledge on grassroots organizing, just energy transition, and climate policy I’ve learned over the years. Then after our several policy and negotiation meetings, we ended up taking over an empty room to sing karaoke as we waited for the new Global Stocktake Text (which is an inventory of global climate action and climate action agreements that countries commit to) to drop.

At COP28!


I arrived really early and worked on press outreach, turning our policy agenda and negotiation notes into talking points, and creating some social media videos to break down negotiation tracks. Afterward, I ran across to the next building for a meeting with John Kerry on the U.S. commitment (or lack thereof) to fund a just energy transition. This evening the new Global Stocktake Text dropped without any mentions of a transition away from fossil fuels – and we knew we had to do something to change this on the last day of COP.


We got right to work in the middle of the night (negotiations often go until 2 am). We started talking to negotiators from different country blocs, putting out statements to the press, holding a line and chanting outside the negotiators’ room, held cross-constituency meetings, and started planning a big action to demand an equitable fossil fuel phase-out for 5 pm. After dinner with some friends, we split up into teams to track down party delegates to push for EFFPO on the final text. connection.

Our meetings to discuss policy, negotiations, strategy around an equitable fossil fuel phase-out


It’s the last day of COP28. It’s been a long, exhausting, and emotional journey. The final text includes language around a transition away from fossil fuel, which is a win, but overall it’s still insufficient and includes various loopholes. The final global stocktake text simply does not keep the goals of the Paris Agreement alive, and as a result, frontline communities continue to die every day. At the end of the day, the hard work continues in local communities across the world but today I’m sleeping for the next 30 hours as I fly back to Texas.

International youth activists visiting the Burj Khalifa at midnight after the conference 

From the Wild:

What’s your current beverage of choice?

Matcha Bubble Tea

What would your animal companion be if you were a cartoon character?


Audiobook, ebook, hardback, or paperback?


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