Care About COP: International Climate Diplomacy Training for Youth
A virtual, multilingual educational course developed by youth, for youth about the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COPs) to empower young people with skills to push for ambitious climate policy at the international scale
Honolulu | Started on 30/05/2022
Every year, thousands of young people attend the largest climate conference on Earth – the United Nations Climate Conference of the Parties (COP). Though young people are increasingly included as Observers, they are not given training to make the most of their experience – which is often the closest they may ever be to their climate policy makers. Existing climate policy trainings are exclusive by requiring attendance at time-bound lectures, being highly technical, or lacking consideration for climate advocacy and well-being.
In 2022, we launched the world’s first and only holistic, youth-led, self-guided training for understanding the largest and most important international climate change event: the United Nations Framework Convention (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP)! We reached 89 participants from 30 countries, 50% from the Global South. Our course relies on scientific, traditional, and lived experiences to provide participants with the tools necessary to contribute effectively to negotiations, care for the well-being while there, and hold leaders accountable in-country post-COP. It also empowers participants with conference participation skills, such as how to navigate the Conference, read decision texts, and speak with negotiators. In 2023 we will release our second edition for COP28 in English, Spanish, French, and Arabic.
The training’s innovation lies in that it was drawn from the outcomes of a youth survey on barriers to participation at COP, is not reliant on time zones for effective participation, provides welfare training, and creates a community around the COP via weekly live sessions with two time options. By raising awareness of international climate advocacy and empowering young people with skills on how to make an impact, this course is shaping the strength of youth leadership that has the potential to influence climate policy for a just future.
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Editor’s Note: All information published as submitted by the author(s). Minor edits may have been made to increase readability and understanding.