A Sting Exclusive: “Youth voice must be heard in climate change negotiations!”, Bérénice Jond Board Member of European Youth Forum demands from Brussels

Berenice Jond European Youth Forum

Bérénice Jond is a Board Member of the European Youth Forum

This article was exclusively written for the Sting by Bérénice Jond, Board Member of the European Youth Forum.

We are standing on the edge of the precipice, looking down at a situation which we do not want witness. The Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) sounds rather dull and technical, but in fact, it is one of the most important moments that our generation faces to stop the destruction of our planet by agreeing an ambitious and binding agreement on climate change.

Young people and youth organisations are key to ensuring that this is a process that engages the younger generations – surely the generations that the continuing change in climate will impact the most?

That is why we will be there to have our voice heard! We hope to push governments to come up with the ambitious deal that is necessary. The objective of this agreement is both very simple in its wording and extremely difficult. Keeping global warming below 2°C becomes a more and more difficult challenge as years go by. Adding global inequalities between countries and a widespread short-term political vision make the Paris conference agreement a challenge of which many doubt the ambition.

Civil society organisations – and among them youth organisations – have a big role to play here. Remembering the Copenhagen COP in 2009, civil society has been preparing for Paris since last year for its strongest ever rally in climate change negotiation history. Despite the two huge demonstrations cancellation following the Paris attacks, civil society is looking into alternative ways to make sure negotiators don’t forget to whom they are accountable, even when working behind closed doors: the people.

And a very significant part of the people is the younger generations. For 10 years they have been pushing to contribute to the negotiation process, organising before each COP a Conference of Youth (COY) aiming to raise awareness, training young people on climate change issues, and creating a youth position to be spread during the COP.

This year’s COY will be no exception to the rule. Nevertheless, the organisers have decided to change a few rules to make the event the start of a momentum up to the final hurdle.

It’s no news that climate change does not affect everyone in the same way, and social inequalities do have a role in that. Also, if environmental civil society organisations have historically been rather lonely in advocating for more action to prevent and reduce climate change, it is simplistic to see climate change issues only from an environmental point of view. In fact, these issues tend to be cross-sectorial, since they call for a global shift in our ways of living, working, consuming, being educated…

Taking this into account, the COY organisers, the WARN! movement, the REFEDD (The French Network of Students for Sustainable Development), CliMates, Avenir Climatique and the French Scouting Federation, have decided to broaden the concept. This year, about 5,000 young people will gather in Villepinte (next to Le Bourget where the COP21 will happen), from November 26th to the 28th, three days leading up to the COP. This event will be a festive one, with a long-term mobilising goal in order to create an international community of young people striving for a more desirable and sustainable way of life. Both the program and the venue will fit every participant’s needs. From expert or just passer-by, to climate militant or not, each and everyone will be able to find their way. The space will both inform and mobilise young people, to raise and showcase existing solutions and to connect participants in a fun atmosphere.

With the COY event, local COYs in other countries will be organised to rally even more young people all around the world. If they cannot come to the COY, the COY will come to them!

Besides these timely events, the European Youth Forum, with an informal network of its member organisations, hopes to ensure that climate change remains high on the agenda for the coming years.

More and more young people are trying to shift the paradigm in which we live to start building a desirable future for everyone regardless of their social background or the place that they live. Understanding the cross-sectorial nature of what is at stake, believing in social and climate justice and fighting climate change with alternatives and positivism, this is the recipe to a new kind of activism of which young people are torch-bearers, for real!

We call on world leaders, during these negotiations, to truly listen to the voice of civil society and to young people, whose future is at stake.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Syria’s groundbreaking constitutional talks: ‘a clear success of mediation’ says Guterres in Turkey

10 million Yemenis ‘one step away from famine’, UN food relief agency calls for ‘unhindered access’ to frontline regions

“911, What’s your emergency?”

Nearly a third of the globe is now on Facebook – chart of the day

Climate change is forcing 20 million people a year from their homes, Oxfam says

4 ways Africa can prepare its youth for the digital economy

Germany objects to EU Commission’s plan for a Eurozone bank deposits insurance scheme but Berlin could go along

Alcohol abuse kills three million people a year, most of them men – WHO report

2013, a Political Odyssey: What future for Italy?

This is why mental health should be a political priority

Commission welcomes European Parliament adoption of EU4Health programme

Commission welcomes agreement on the modernisation of EU export controls

7 ways to break the fast fashion habit – and save the planet

ECB again to subsidize euro area banks with more than one trillion euro

Thomas Cook bankruptcy: Better consumer and employee protection needed

MWC 2016 LIVE: Ingenu steps up efforts to build LPWA networks across the globe

Greener tourism: Greater collaboration needed to tackle rising emissions

How digital entrepreneurs will help shape the world after the COVID-19 pandemic

MEPs back plans to promote water reuse for agricultural irrigation

The ECB proposes a swift solution for SMEs’ financing

Working fewer hours makes you more efficient. Here’s the proof

COVID-19: A coordinated EU health strategy needed, say MEPs

‘BioSolar Leaves’ are better at cleaning the air than trees, say the technology’s developers

EU leaders agree to delay Brexit until 31 October

Yemen war ‘a test of our humanity’, and we’re ‘badly failing’ warns UN Children’s Fund chief

German Presidency outlines priorities to EP committees

The refugee crisis seen through the eyes of a young doctor from Turkey

EU, Latin America and the Caribbean: Partnering for prosperity, democracy, resilience and global governance

Collective action to enable sustainable growth will be critical to end tropical deforestation

Adoption of new rules to better protect children caught in cross-border parental disputes

Arrest of three Libyans wanted for grave crimes ‘would send strong and necessary message’ to victims, urges top Prosecutor

State aid: Commission approves around €36 million Romanian rescue aid to state-owned flag carrier TAROM

COVID-19: from the chaos of the pandemic to the difficulties in vaccination

Ecofin: ‘The Friday battle’ for the banking union

Haiti cholera outbreak ‘stopped in its tracks’

The UK option: An overarching alternative for the whole Brexit options

Security Council gravely concerned by Ebola outbreak in DR Congo, demands immediate end to violence hampering response

Here’s how to achieve growth in the Middle East and North Africa

Civil society groups matter for Cambodia’s sustainable development: UN expert

European Institute of Innovation and Technology: Commission welcomes political agreement on strategy for 2021-2027

The von der Leyen Commission: for a Union that strives for more

Number of MEPs to be reduced after EU elections in 2019

The challenge of palliative care in universal health coverage

The world needs carbon-neutral flying. Here’s how to bring it one step closer

Facts, not fear, will stop COVID-19 – so how should we talk about it?

Concorde is a reminder that the only way for innovation is up

Parlamentarians to “break up” with reality in the Google antitrust case

Implementation of tax transparency initiative delivering concrete and impressive results

The world has made spectacular progress in every measure of well-being. So why does almost no one know about it?

EU guidance on the handling of visa applications from residents of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions

MEPs to prioritise environment and climate action in next long-term budget

GDP growth slows in most G20 economies in third quarter of 2019

This is why retail is such a sore point in India-US trade relations

Khashoggi murder trials must public and meet international standards, UN expert urges

UN chief seeking ‘renewed commitment’ to global rules and values, as world leaders head to New York

Agriculture and Fisheries Council

A reality check on inclusive innovation

Austerity lovers to put a break on Renzi’s growth vision for Europe? the Sting reports live from World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

This man is turning cities into giant sponges to save lives

4 key trends on how COVID has impacted women in business

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s