Young people are the ones driving the present system change

 Young people are the ones driving the present system change

More than 500 young people from all over the world are participating in the International Youth Climate Conference (COY17), taking place just before the start of COP27.

By Graziella Albuquerque

The International Youth Climate Change Conference (COY17) is the largest and most important youth conference related to the UN multilateral climate processes, currently taking place in Sharm el-Sheikh. The conference started on the 2nd of November and will end on the 4th of November, witnessing more than 500 young participants.

 COY17 is the official gathering for members of the Youth Constituency to the UNFCCC (YOUNGO) and for all young people interested in the climate emergency. The event takes place in the same venue and a few days before the UN Climate Change Conference (COP-27), and serves as a space to strengthen political education to prepare young people for participation in the COP.

 The role of young people has officially been recognized in 2009, when a formalised group was founded by the UN to represent young people in climate negotiations (YOUNGO). They were the ones who drafted Article 12 of the Paris Agreement, which talks about the commitment of states to cooperate through climate education and to promote the active participation of young people the Agreement.

 Several Egyptian authorities were present at the opening of the conference, such as the Ministers of Transport, Youth and Environment. During their speeches, they stressed the importance of youth participation in the fight against climate change through an active role in dialogue and decision-making spaces at local, national and international levels. “You are the entrepreneurs, innovators and agents of change that we need. Young people are the future, and this is the truth: the future is now,” said the Egyptian Minister of Environment.

 In the next two days numerous workshops, conferences, debates and various other activities will take place.                  

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