The COP28 Presidency has left a lasting legacy by establishing the role of climate champion within future COP Presidency teams and ensuring the inclusion of young people in climate decision-making processes.
In the Working Framework of the Conferences of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Parties agreed to include the Youth Climate Champion task in the official text negotiated at COP28, ensuring the effective participation and representation of youth in future COP leadership teams. .
COP28 was the first COP to formally appoint a Youth Climate Chair, building on the foundation laid by the Youth Ambassador at COP27, where His Highness Shamma Bint Suhail Al Mazrouei, Minister of Social Development, was appointed as the youngest Minister of Youth Climate Chair. In the world, she was 22 years old when she assumed this position.
His Excellency spoke: “Intelligent leadership places youth empowerment at the heart of the UAE’s values, and based on this principle, the COP28 leadership was keen to ensure that the role of the next generation is activated and youth climate action is consolidated. Pioneering in the international climate action system is an integral part of the legacy the Convention leaves to the world and to action. ”Climate Change and Upcoming Conferences of the Parties.
Nearly one billion children worldwide are currently exposed to the risks of climate change, and many young people are already at the forefront of global climate action. However, youth participation in climate policy-making remains low.
COP28 presented pioneering initiatives focused on integrating youth into climate action.
Yungo, UNFCCC’s “Youth Global Dividend” report supported by Youth Climate Leader, is the first comprehensive analysis of youth engagement in UNFCCC process. It provides a blueprint for mobilizing and empowering youth in climate action.
The “International Youth Climate Delegates Program” at COP28, representing the largest initiative to enable youth to effectively participate in the COP system, succeeded in engaging 110 youth from around the world to participate in climate action, in line with the vision. And UAE leadership guidelines provide delegates with the training and resources they need to play a leadership role in youth climate change in their communities, with full funding to participate in COP28, giving them the opportunity to contribute to the negotiations. Providing a model for the inclusion of youth from least developed countries, small island developing states, indigenous peoples and communities experiencing conflict and including youth in the work force of the Conference of Parties.
The UAE has committed to supporting efforts to formalize the role of the Youth Climate Champion over the past year as the COP28 Presidency Team and Youth Climate Champion seek sustainable external funding for the role to avoid the need for funding from Parties.
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