Often called as the annual UN Climate Change Conference, or “climate negotiations” – COP24 is the 24th meeting of Parties to UNFCCC Convention. Participation in these climate change negotiations is multi-sectoral: while on the one hand there are governments from all around the world (called as “Parties”) who come together to develop and negotiate on more robust international climate policies, a typical COP also enjoys participation of a vast range of actors including the non-governmental organisations, academia, youth, businesses, etc.
COP24 will take place in Katowice, Poland from 2 December 2018 to 14 December 2018 and will focus on the development of the Paris Agreement Work Program (PAWP), also commonly called as the “Paris Rulebook”.
Youth Engagement at UNFCCC Sessions
Young people around the world are actively engaged in the effort to address climate change, leading and participating in a multitude of initiatives at the local, sub-national, national, and international levels. Their strong commitment to working on this issue has also motivated them to participate at international climate negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Although the youth participation in the UNFCCC has steadily grown, and youth being recognized as official constituency in 2009, it still continues to suffer widely from uneven geographic distribution of origin of participants.
The Global South Climate Scholarships for Youth 2018 – intends to bring more young people from developing countries to feed into COP24 and open doors of United Nations for such youth.
In 2009, youth participation in UN Climate Change had reached the level at which an official constituency was formed for youth NGOs. UN Climate Change recognized youth as an official constituency called “YOUNGO” (Youth + NGO). After two years operating under a provisional status, “YOUNGO” became fully recognized at COP17 in Durban, South Africa. YOUNGO has since served as both the official conduit for youth participation in the UN climate talks and as a global network of youth and youth-focused organizations that work on climate change and engage with UN Climate Change.
There are several ways YOUNGO engages in the UN Climate Change process, including through constituency submissions on various topics as and when called for by UN Climate Change, sending representatives to various UN Climate Change meetings throughout the year, engaging directly at COP and intersessionals.