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GUEST BLOG: COP26 negotiators must not forget the Leaders of Tomorrow

Updated: Aug 27, 2021


For nearly three decades, the United Nations has brought almost every country on the earth together for global climate summits called COPs (Conference of the Parties). Climate change has progressed from a minor concern to a worldwide priority over this time, yet there is still a very long way to go for international decarbonisation and a safer planet for us all.

While the negotiations are carried out by the world leaders, we are forgetting the future leaders that are today's youth. The 26th annual summit, known as COP26, will be held in Scotland this year to follow up on previous international agreements, the most well-known being the Paris Agreement. Young people from around the world via YOUNGO, the official youth constituency to the UNFCCC, are raising their voices calling for ambitious climate action from world leaders. Young people ensure their voices are heard through a Conference of Youth (COY). COY, which will be in its 16th year in 2021, has been termed the world's largest and longest-running youth Conference. It's also known as the world's most important youth meeting because of its capacity to immediately contribute and interfere in UN climate negotiations, as a final policy document from this Conference feeds into the wider UN negotiations.

COY16 is being organised by YOUNGO, the official youth constituency of UNFCCC, in association with: UK Youth Climate Coalition, UK Student Climate Network, Fridays For Future Scotland and UK Youth4Nature. COY aims to be a space and a unique opportunity where youth climate activists and advocates from around the world come together, share, learn, and be stronger together, both in ensuring the youth voices are heard at COP26 as well as in the subsequent climate summits to come, across the world. Different sessions, workshops and activities will be held during the conference.

COP26 is being dubbed as the last chance for the global community to agree to real climate action before it becomes too late. As Young People who will inherit the earth, our voices must be heard. By uniting together, and learning from each other, COY16 can help make this happen.

That is why we have launched a Crowdfunder to help make COY16 happen. We want to ensure that all voices are heard at COY16 and economic inequality is not a barrier to attending, for those from Scotland to South Africa, England to Ecuador.

Different people around the world who want to see a better future by listening to today's youth voices have already started to help us by funding. But we are now just 3 months away from the event and far from our final fundraising target. We are the future of this planet and we have the right to live our lives to the fullest. Please consider donating to our COY16 crowdfunding campaign to make this all happen. Let’s unify for change.

COY16, the official precursor youth event of COP26, which is formally endorsed by the office of the United Nations Secretary-Envoy General's on Youth, will take place on October 28-31, 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland, UK.


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