About thirty young people coming for eight countries (Brasil, Colombia, Argentina, Costa Rica, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Armenia) are heading to the twenty-fifth UN Conference on Climate Change (COP25) and to the Cumbre de los Pueblos, both of which will take place in Madrid from December 2 – 13.This is a special experience, which has reached its eighth “recurrency” this year.In fact, the mobilization of an international organisation of young people is one of the main activities of the project Youth Press Agency, promoted by Viração Educomunicação in Brasil, Climalab in Colombia and the Association Viração&Jangada in Italy and sponsored by Ashoka Spain and Fundación Por Causa.
COP25 and the Cumbre de los Pueblos will count around 25.000 participants. Among them the negotiators and diplomats of the 195 States members of the Paris Agreement, delegates of multinationals and observers of ONGs and social movements.
The UN Conference was supposed to happen in Santiago (Chile), but it was moved to Madrid after the Chilean President Sebastián Piñera cancelled the event due to the instability of his country. The Latin American State is experiencing a wave of protests of a civil society more and more hit by a dramatic social and economic crisis.
In Madrid the young reporters will also attend the UN International Conference of Youth (COY15). This occurs from November 29 to December 1 and it is a space where young generations can exchange experiences and knowledge on climate change, create new networks and movements, develop creative ideas and prepare to be an active part in the following COP25. Precisely in this framework, the idea to create the global movement Fridays for Future was born last year.
The works of both UN Conferences will start just a few days after the alarm issued by the World Meteorological Organisation. Its most recent study on greenhouse gasses has found that in 2018 the average global concentration of CO2 reached the record value of 407,8 part per million. The year before, the concentration floated around the 405,5 parts per million. The seemingly never-ending increase in CO2 emissions translates into “ever more serious impacts of climate change, with rising temperatures and sea level, extreme events, water stress and perturbation of marine and terrestrial ecosystems”, say the experts.
The main aim of the youth delegation is to describe the events from the point of view of the youngsters by producing articles, photos, videos and theatrical performances. To spread their work, the group has chosen the website www.youthpressagency.org, Facebook (youthpressagency), Instagram (@youthpressagency and @stampagiovanile) as well as more traditional media such as local and national newspapers, radios and magazines. Its articles will be translated and published on the Italian, Portuguese and Spanish websites of the Agency.
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE CONFERENCE IN MADRID
COP25 has great importance. The delegations of all countries are expected to elaborate the rules and conditions on which the Paris Agreement will come into force in 2020. The negotiators have to define more ambitious goals to reduce greenhouse gasses emissions to fulfil the Agreements and, even more fundamental, to contain the rising of the global temperature within the limit of +2°C in reference to the average temperature of the pre-industrial era. This appears to be a more and more urgent challenge which has not developed into the necessary transition to a carbon-free economy and society, notwithstanding the fact that global warming has sped up and its effects on the Earth and its populations are worsening.