Climate communication, civic crowdfunding, the function of INDCs – these were only some of the core topics and hard skills behind effective climate action that were offered during the 11th Conference of Youth (COY), the latest gathering of youth that precedes the annual UN conference on climate change.
This year’s conference was about optimism, hope and friendship but also very much about the real impact young people can make with the right approach, training and knowledge. The conference message to COP21:
”We are young, we are engaged, we are here and ready to change this world – are you?”
Impressed by Youth’s Creativity
High-level speakers shared their stories with their audience, including COP21 President and French foreign minister Laurent Fabius, Paul Watson, founder of the anti-whaling NGO Sea Shepard, Buddhist spiritual leader Sulak Sivaraksa and UNFCCC Spokesperson Nick Nuttall.
Laurent Fabius said he was “impressed with the creativity, energy and resourcefulness of young people who organised COY11”.
Nick Nuttall said he saw a “huge progression of unseen momentum in Climate Action”.
Mr. Fabius wants this generation’s aspirations to be reflected in the outcomes of the conference. “As COP 21 President, he said, I will make sure the message of young people will be put into the final agreement.”
Mr. Nuttall said that effective climate action meant humans aso had to “reframe how we measure GDP and economic growth to consider things such as the environment”.
Volunteers and Optimism
Almost everything at the conference from organization, to technical setup and especially workshops and lectures were carried out by young volunteers. Many foreign guests were hosted free of charge by Paris residents. Volunteers cooked lunch and made coffee for all participants on all three days, helping young people without big financial means to attend.
COY was organized by a network of youth organizations including Avenir Climatique, CliMates, French Scouting Federation, REFEED, We Are Ready Now! and Youngo.