EU Member States must support their young people with youth delegate programs
Youth is the most important stakeholder in climate negotiations
Around the world, young people are standing up and striking for their future. Science shows that the climate crisis is accelerating, with devastating effects. The international community is not on track to reach the 1.5°C – 2°C goal, as agreed in Paris.
The Conference of Parties of the UNFCCC Process is the central place to raise international climate ambition. It is crucial that the youth is not at the sidelines, at the side events, but at the center of negotiations and delegations.
This is why EU youth at COP25 calls their governments to support, financially and institutionally, official Youth Delegation programs for climate crisis issues.
Need for Best Practice Everywhere
We appreciate that a few EU member states have such programs. The Netherlands, for instance, have a senior and a junior “Youth Delegate on Sustainable Development” as part of the delegation that make young voices heard. They collect input from youth events and channel back the negotiations. There is an open and democratic application procedure.
Another good practice is found in Austria, where the ministry works with the NGO CliMates Austria. They enable four young people to travel to COP and make young voices heard. They reach out to thousands to promote climate crisis issues in a relatable way.
Belgium holds two Youth Delegate programs. The programs conducts in-depth consultations and civil society collaborations for legitimate strong representation. They collaborate with the national climate coalition.
In France, two students are part of the delegation for a 2-year mandate. They attend all negotiations and side events and are supported by delegation members. They are selected by three youth associations to represent the French youth and the Environment Ministry.
We propose to use the current momentum and Green New Deal to engage with member states to truly empower their young people. Establish official youth delegate programs now!
We stand ready to take climate responsibility.
Supported by youth organisations from Germany, Netherlands, Poland, UK, France, Spain, Austria, Sweden, Denmark, Portugal, Czech Republic and Belgium at the COP25 in Madrid.
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