Youth @ COP18

UN Climate Negotiations Doha, Qatar December 2012

--------------------------------------------------------------------------This report was made possible by the generous contribution by the Government of Norway and the European Union. We wish to thank IndyACT for helping distribute this funding. In addition, we wish to thank the UNFCCC secretariat for their support in enabling YOUNGO to make an impact at COP18. Special thanks go to the bottom lining team; YOUNGO focal-points Abhishek Shrestha and MJ Shiao; and all the dedicated young activists that represent our best hope for tackling climate change. Photo Credits: AYCM, AYCC, the UNFCCC Secretariat, UKYCC, SustainUS, Adopt an Negotiator, The Verb, Youth Think Green,, The Student Sierra Coalition, , Ellie Hopkins, Sam Hamels and Marina Flevotomas. Authors: Camilla Born (UK), Farrukh Zaman (Pakistan)

SECTIONS: ---------------------------------------------------------------------P4 P6 P8 P10 P11 P12 P14 P15 P16 P18 P20 P22 YOUNGO: The rise and rise of youth participation International Youth Climate Movement Conference of the Youth (COY) Sights & Sounds from COY8 COY8 in the Media Feature: Global South Youth Virtual Participation Room Spokescouncil & decision-making Young and Future Generations Day (YuFuGe) Youth Policy Youth Actions Conclusion

YOUNGO: The rise and rise
The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible – and achieve it, generation after generation.

Pearl S. Buck

The creation of a youth constituency under the UNFCCC was heralded as a wise and necessary step toward creating quality, durable policy on climate change at COP10 in Buenos Aries. Today, this statement holds true: the youth constituency has become a vocal and active part of the climate talks. Youth have fought to include their perspectives in the negotiationsand have inspired global youth to push for meaningful action on climate change. The youth constituency, known as YOUNGO, has been on a long journey. Less than 50 youth attended the climate negotiations between 2004 and 2007 but by COP15 in Copenhagen, these numbers had swelled to 1500. The rise in youth participation at each COP is testament to YOUNGO’s success in raising awareness about climate change and policy amongst global youth. Today, YOUNGO is making creative and significant interventions to influence the direction of the talks. Due to the increased youth presence, in 2009 an application was formally submitted to give YOUNGO official constituency status. First approved on a probationary basis, YOUNGO was officially recognised by the UNFCCC secretariat prior to COP17 in Durban in 2011. This decision has helped to increase the legitimacy of youth participation in the UNFCCC process and raised the profile of youth in the media and civil society, as well as wider society.

“The youthful, positive face of YOUNGO provides hope to other young people, broader society and negotiators. The unity of YOUNGO and the trust within the constituency projects onto outsiders. Talking with youth gives you a YOUNGO continues to make its presense felt at every COP, re- sense of hope and optimism that does not hapgardless of the challenges it face. It is one such platform that is pen when you talk to old fogies.” uniting global youth efforts to address climate crisis, and should Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, Chair of the IPCC therefore be invested in and supported, rather be discounted and de-prioritized. 4

of youth participation
YOUNGO triumphs…
Over the years, YOUNGO has established itself as an active platform for global youth to contribute to ongoing international movement to solve climate change. Actions, lobbying and capacity building efforts ensured that YOUNGO was able to achieve a range of objectives in 2012. Among these, arranging the eighth Conference of the Youth (COY8) to build capacity of young Qatari locals andyouth attending COP18. Anotherwas the effective youth lobbyfound within several negotiating tracks including finance, mitigation, gender and Article 6 of the Convention. In addition, the foundation of the Arab Youth Climate Movement (AYCM) maximised the impact of YOUNGO at COP18 and will strengthen the youth movement in years to come.

…and tribulations
The biggest challenge facing YOUNGO is the geographic imbalance of youth participation. Consistently global North youth far outweigh global South. Further, global North youth are advantaged by the greater number opportunities for preparation, and availability of resources,which increase their dominance. With generous help from the Norwegian government, YOUNGO was able to bring ten global South youth delegates to COP18 in Doha. However, in order to achieve a North-South balance, further support will be needed to reduce the gap and reflect a truly global youth voice at the UNFCCC.

Civil Society participation is recognised for providing both expertise and transparency to governmental decision-making processes like the UN climate talks. The following references discuss the right of civil society and youth to participate in UN processes: • Agenda 21 of the 1992 Rio Declaration. Sections 10.3, 25.2, 25.4, 25.7 • Article 16 of the recently adopted resolution of the UN General Assembly on Policies and Programmes involving Youth. • The Aarhus Convention (1998) • European Youth Forum (YFJ) Guide for youth NGOs at UN Meetings.


Interntional Youth
For an issue like global climate change, the world needs solutions that transcend national borders. Today’s youth climate movement – part of the world’s first generation that is globally connected by the internet – are breaking down long-standing cultural and political boundaries. Ahead of COP18 in Doha, several national consultations and preparation projects were carried out by the regional newtorks to strategize and build capacity of the youth members. Doha Youth Strategy Session On the 19th-21st October 25 representatives from across North America gathered to map out pre-2015 strategy. Policy messaging and actions frameworks were also prepared specifically for COP18. The session was webcast and notes were circulated to the YOUNGO listserv for those who couldn’t be there in person. This was the first time North American youth had met before a COP and they hope to build on this success in years to come. Prep-COP Brussels In October European Youth met in Brussels to begin planning for COP18. Youth came from different countries to prepare for COP18. Working groups were formed to exchange knowledge, build relationships and create policyspecific strategy. It was a valuable experience for the European youth, as well as their respective organisations back home. Power Shift Power Shift is a youth capacity building summit first held in Washington DC in 2007. Since, Power Shift has spread across the world and summits have been held in Canada, UK, USA and for the first time this year in Sweden, Belgium and New Zealand. These events bring vitality to our movement and make us stronger. In June 2013 will be hosting a global Power Shift to grow the movement to all corners of the world.

“This was the first time I really understood the power of the youth climate movement. Despite vastly different government systems, youth in both countries are building political power in culturally-appropriate ways. This event was my ‘we’re all in this together’ moment.”

Climate Movement
.Qatar in Brussels From 1-8December young activists from all over Europe came together in Brussels. Parallel actions were run in Qatar and Brussels, including a solidarity action with the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Bopha. In addition, efforts were made to target political and corporate decision makers. (Young FOE in partnership with other youth and organisations in Europe) Doha in Paris Born out of the success of Durban in Brussels a second parallel summit was hosted alongside the COP, this time in Paris. From 1st-7th of December young French activists convened in Paris to exchange knowledge, stimulate debate and create links with other international youth to raise awareness amongst French citizens. (Refedd, CliMates, Youth Diplomacy and 350 Paris) Preparing for COP’s elsewhere Ahead of the COP many of the working group listservs were reinstated and youth began building strategy ahead of Doha. Many organisations also hosted internal training for their delegates. However, a lack of resources restricted these opportunities in some regions, particularly the global south. Arab Youth Climate Movement - AYCM The foundation of the Arab Youth Climate Movement has been a massive success story for COP18. With the COP being hosted in the Arab region came the fantastic opportunity to boost the formally minimal Arab youth involvement in the UNFCCC process. With the support of regional and international organisations, activists were selected from across the region to participate in a 5-day workshop in Cario, Egypt in early October. Despite regional unrest youth quickly got to work using these new found skills, friendships and knowledge to hold a regional day of action on the 3rd of November. In Oman they debated, in Lebanon they created a public graffiti jigsaw, in Jordan they hosted a street party and in Palestine they marched, to name just a few. With administrative support from Indy ACT and funding from the Qatari government over 50 AYCM activists were able to join international youth at COP18. Their large presence at COP certainly did not go unnoticed. Side-events were hosted, actions were performed, delegates were cornered in the corridors and plans were made for the year ahead.


Conference of the Youth

The ‘COY’ or ‘Conference of Youth’ has been an essential part of a youth delegate’s calendar since COP11 in Montreal. Ahead of the COP, local, national and international youth come together to build the capacity of the international youth climate movement (IYCM). Organised and facilitated entirely by members of the IYCM, each COY unites hundreds of young climate leaders for a three-day conference focused on capacity-building, skills-sharing and campaign collaboration. In its eighth year, COY brought together over 300 youth from over 50 countries. The COY achieved a balance of plenary, capacity building workshops and strategy working groups. In plenary we heard from activists young and old, negotiators and Christiana Figueres even dropped by to say hello. Regional breakout sessions made a return to this year’s programme and proved a great success, strengthening regional movements for the year to come. In addition, running in parallel to sessions preparing youth delegates for COP were opportunities for local youth to begin growing the movement in Qatar. COY8 was generously hosted by the Qatar Foundation and would not have been possible without their support.

A particular success was the strength of the ‘on the ground team’ who helped to ensure the smooth running of the event in line with cultural norms. Capacity Building Building the capacity of the international youth climate movement forms the heart of COY’s ambitions. Although capacity building is commonly delivered at the national level, by bringing together international youth we can strengthen the movement by learning from a range of experiences. COY8 delivered workshops for a variety of audiences; from the COP first-timer, to the seasoned activist looking for a new perspective. During the COP further capacity building workshops were ran both at the convention centre and Qatar Foundation to provide on-going support and increase the learning experience. An Arab COY With COY coming to the Arab region for the first time the Arab Youth Climate Movement (AYCM) created a considerable stir. They delivered impassioned presentations, 8

ran workshops and hosted an Arab village alongside Sunday’s programme. Evaluation Although COY provided a fantastic learning experience there are of course opportunities for improvement. Feedback suggests that increasing the workshop and strategy session time would be beneficial. Whilst plenary does add to the participants experience it has less lasting impact than skills based development. A lot of participants also stressed upon having more planning and strategy sessions at an earlier stage during COY8 to prepare for COP. Having more group meetings, in this regard, was seen as a way to allow for coherent, cooridnated startegies and actions. According to one participant, COY could be improved further by having a day or two designated to regional participants who could run the capacity building sessions in the local language, along with an international segment of the conference dedicated to policy and strategy development. Local participation varied dramatically across the three days due to the Friday, Saturday Arab weekend. Although efforts were made to do so, in future greater attention will be paid to culturally appropriate timetabling.

“My experience of COY8 was very valuable. I learned a lot and was able to connect well with other participants for COP18.” “COY8 had a very friendly environment. I met many youth from around the world and got plenty of ideas and information.”


“I found COY8 to be very creative, interactive and a good way to meet people.”

“COY clearly has two inter-

linked purposes; capacity building and strategy development/preparation. A day or two can be designated to locals and run in the local language and be targeted towards capacity building.”

“It was a great learning experience. I am very excited for future involvement.”


COY 8 in the Media
Facebook page: Twiiter handle: @WeAreCOY8 gives a Middle Eastern perspective on the 8th Conference of the Youth. Canadian Youth Delegation gives a recap of the second day of COY8. An eco-feminist reflects on COY8 and how we can see more women negotiators in the talks. Faith group sees COY8 as encouraging spirit of togetherness.


Global South Youth
YOUNGO includes youth from diverse cultural, academic, political and socioeconomic backgrounds. Youth in YOUNGO come from a variety of different countries, each bringing with them unique perspectives and experiences to share and learn from. It is essential that the diversity of YOUNGO remains intact, for solving the global climate crisis requires united, inclusive and ambitious efforts. To do that, we need a global youth movement with representation from both the global north and global south. More than 85% of the world’s youth population resides in developing countries. Ignoring the voices and concerns of this vast majority is not in the best interests of people around the world. Yet, we see fewer global south youth attending the UNFCCC sessions because of limited capacity and lack of funding. In an attempt to rectify this imbalance within YOUNGO, the Government of Norway ensured that some funding was available to support global south youth participation at COP18 in Doha. Funding provided by the Norwegian Government enabled 10 youth from the Global South to attend COP18 negotiations. These talented young people came from geographical diverse countries with strong experience in climate activism in their home countries. During COP18, we got a chance to talk to these young Global South participants about their work, experiences and what they were doing as global south youth at COP. For most of them, it was their first COP. But they recognized their global north colleagues for helping them out with capacity building and knowledge sharing. Here is more from our conversation: On what you are doing back at home: “I work with rural communities to come up with idea to solve climate issues. I also do a lot of outreach projects in schools related to climate education.” Emmanuel, Ghana “I am working on sustainable development and water management issues. We empower youth on developing sustainable development solutions.” Berenice, Mexico “I work with Green Network in Vietnam, focusing on sustainable issues.” Tuong, Vietnam “I do deforestation projects in Madagascar.” Marie, Madagascar On the selection process for Global South funding: “I got to know about the application for the funding from a friend, so I thought to apply for it. The application process was very easy, and in my opinion, it was really effective because it required short answers to short questions.” Roberto, Ecuador On what have you done at COP: “I am following negotiations on adaptation. I am also engaged with different action groups here and taking part in these. It is important to communicate messages to Nepalese youth, so I am also regularly updating them through online media.” Rajan, Nepal “I am doing a lot of media related work. I had the opportunity to interview the head of my country’s delegation, other government officials, and youth - especially from the global south. I am writing articles from youth perspectives with my team for ‘The Verb’ and sending it to different media houses. I also attend side events, workshops and meet with my 12

delegation to know more about the process.” – Ruth, Kenya On learning: “This has been my first cop experience. So far, I am finding it really interesting. At home, we hear people saying to take action, but now that I am here, I am beginning to understand the process involved and why it is important to have these processes in place to avoid problems in future.” – Devika, Fiji

Global South Youth Funding recipients
1. Tuong Huyen Tram, Vietnam 2. Rajan Thapa, Nepal 3. Ruth Nyambura, Kenya 4. Prince Wilondja, Democratic Republic of Congo 5. Berenice Danaé Espinoza Hernández, Mexico 6. Emmanuel Ducker, Ghana 7. Devika Raj, Fiji 8. Roberto Madera Arends, Ecuador 9. Marina Mansilla Hermann, Argentina 10. Marie Allimant, Madagascar

“This is my first cop too. It seems like a new experience. I gathered new knowledge that I would share with my fellows in my home country. It is also a bit frustrating to see that negotiations do not work out the way we want. But at the same time, it is encouraging because when you return We did some training on communication as well.” to your country you work harder to improve the situation.” - Marina, Argentina On importance of the process: “COP is an important process. Negotiators here are On challenges you faced: deciding about the world. They are talking about the “One big challenge I am facing is trying to get hold of my future of climate change and sustainable development. delegation. It is really difficult to meet them. I am still The decisions taken at COP will affect us and we will be pushing to get through them so that I can get them ininherited these decisions.” volved back at home.” - Wilondja, Democratic Republic of Congo “COP is an interesting opportunity to get to know what On finding support: “YOUNGO helped us in many ways throughout COP18. They organized training and capacity building sessions that helped us understand policy process much better. the youth is doing in others countries. This allows me to get ideas on how to expand the climate movement in my country.”


Virtual Participation Room

What was it? The Virtual Participation Room (VP) was a service that allowed YOUNGO constituents to make use of audio and video facilities at COP. The room was equipped for approximately 20 people with microphones, headphones, a webcam, speakers and a laptop with web capabilities and Skype. What did we do? The VP room was used on almost 30 separate occasions, calling back to national audiences or organisations and linking up with climate campaigns around the world. Youth groups from each continent made use of the room to build capacity and increase youth engagement with the UNFCCC process.

Evaluation Advanced warning of the availability of a VP room for YOUNGO would improve usability. The room was predominantly used to communicate ‘home’ and prior notification would enable delegations to organise events to extend outreach efforts. It is also recommended that it is unnecessary to have a dedicated technician for the level of technical support needed for the VP room. In some instances it proved to be a hindrance to the room’s usage at COP18. Overall, participants agreed that the VP room was quite useful in connecting with the people back in their home countries and should continue to be made available at each COP.

“Virtual Participation Room created a moment for different youth groups to connect with youth back home and involve them into the process.” “It was a great way to link negotiators with young people back at home and it worked really well.”

Spokescouncil & Decision-making

YOUNGO is built upon a consensus-decision making structure, with facilitators not leaders. The constituency makes decisions during the daily morning meeting, known as spokescouncil. At each spokescouncil a representative (or spoke) from each delegation, working group or geographic region, sits in a circle and speaks on behalf of their group. One representative from the global South and another from the global North, facilitate the meeting. Policy and proposals are sent to the listserv in advance, to be discussed and approved at spokescouncil. Official constituency approval is done by consensus. The ‘spoke’ discusses each proposal with their group and speaks on their behalf. If there is disagreement further amendments may be proposed and subsequent rounds of brief discussion may commence. Finally he facilitator will choose to bring the decision to a vote. Spokes may vote in favour, stand aside or block. A block is consider a once or twice in a lifetime decision and must be followed by an alternative proposal. Evaluating consensus decision-making Working by consensus supports the non-hierarchical learning environment “I got to learn about the global that YOUNGO creates for young activists. Each member of the connetwork of young people who are stituency has the opportunity to contribute to the decision-making working for climate change. It process.

ation. However as this role isn’t formally recognised, in some instances at COP18 a lack of guidance reduced the constituency’s potential impact upon the negotiations.In response, a working group was set up to work on strengthening YOUNGO’sgovernance, organisational memory and development.

gives me more hope and I feel The constituency’s structure is reliant upon more knowledgeable and ex- more inspired to continue what I perienced members supporting the development of YOUNGO’s next gener- am doing in my own country.”


Intergenerational inquiry

Young and Future
“There should be more side events and actions on Youth and Future Generations Day. I think it is a good way for youth from all countries to tell everyone what they are doing in their countries.”

Youth representatives facilitated an engaging session where we heard from Mary Robison, Christiana Figueres, Dessima Williams and many members of YOUNGO. The speakers were engaging, stressing the importance of action at home and the urgency of taking action on climate change. COP presidency meeting The COP president met with members of YOUNGO at a very well attended meeting. Pre-approved questions were answered and although there was a mixed reception, the opportunity to raise key issues with the President was highly valued. Article 6 Action YOUNGO has consistently engaged on Article 6 and YuFuGe gave the opportunity to highlight the importance of education in fighting climate change. The action expressed the importance of non-formal education and called upon negotiators to get an ‘A in Article 6’. Thanks but No Thanks Action International youth held an action to ‘thank’ our leaders and representatives for all the work they have to tackle climate change. However, sadly after a pause for reflection we remembered that their actions are not ambitious enough to take us away from dangerous climate change. With regret, we said ‘no thanks’. Youth Access Under-18’s are restricted from attending COP’s and only permitted to attend on YuFuGe. Although this is a UN wide rule, as youth are such significant stakeholders when it comes to discussing climate change, in the past there has been greater access. This year over X youth were effected and in response a working group was created to ensure greater access is achieved in the future.


Generations Day (YuFuGe)
Singing for non-formal education The COP18 WAGGGS delegates held a side-event to teach other youth the song that would form the basis of their action. The action was full of energy, enthusiasm and excitement for showing the importance of non-formal education. Obviously this explicitly mentions WAGGGS…. Tree of Hope YouthinkGreen led an action to build a tree of hope to express the demands, wishes and fears for COP18. Qatar to pledge Action IndyACT and AYCM took advantage of Qatar’s roles as hosts for the FIFA World Cup to lead a football themed action. Qatari players kicked a pledge into the goal to show that making pledges helps to overcome climate change. Youth Facing Climate Change Across the US SustainUS held a side event in the US centre to highlight the reality of climate change in the United States. They shared personal experiences of tornados, flooding and wildfires across the country. #youth on Twitter - Quotes on #YuFuGe Day
Karen Rooney @karen_lb_rooney: #YOUNGO action starting in 30 mins between rooms 7&8 here in #Doha! - #youth say NO THANKS to business as usual. #COP18 #climate Tariq Al-Olaimy @tariqal: Youth dialogue with @COP18CMP8 president, Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah #COP18 Mike Green @hiketheADK: Great brainstorming with @IPCC_CH and #youth about future possibilities for engagement. Looking forward to working with you all. #YOUNGO Jazmin Burgess @jburgessclimate: Ban Ki Moon- "let us prove to future generations that we had the leadership and will to act" #cop18 AYCM @AY_CM: #Qatar made us think they were signing a pledge, then signed to open a new climate research centre #UNFCCC #COP18 #Doha


As an observer organisation, YOUNGO has the right to submit it’s recommendations to the UNFCCC negotiations’ formal consultation processes. Policy working groups compile and propose recommendations on behalf of the constituency. Youth speakers are selected to present statements know as ‘interventions’ during negotiating sessions.

Youth Policy

At COP18, YOUNGO proposed ambitious and equitable policy recommendations to the negotiators in several negotiation tracks – mitigation, finance, Article 6, gender, LCA and ADP. Policies were developed through open consultations with youth as well asother relevant stakeholders such as most vulnerable nations, women, and indigenous people. YOUNGO policies are used to persuade negotiators to create UNFCCC policy inline with youth ambition. Using these positions as a foundation, youth lobby and form relationships with negotiators in an attempt to influence policy. Many working groups were established ahead of the COP through online and face-to-face collaboration. Working Groups Mitigation The Youth Alliance for Mitigation (YAM) was formed on the last day of the Conference of Youth. The group comprised of several youth who regularly attended constituency meetings and contributed to a range of activities including actions, lobbying and interventions. The group was focused on mitigation policy from across three negotiation tracks – ADP, AWG-KP and AWG-LCA. The group established five main mitigation policy points on behalf of YOUNGO: 1. Support the revision of the long-term climate goal to 1.5°C. 2. Advocate for the inclusion of a 2014 review year on ambition and conditional pledges under the AWG-KP. 3. Arab countries to pledge voluntary pre-2020 emissions reductions targets at COP18. 4. Support the proposal of Mexico and Papua New Guinea (PNG) for majority voting (through amendments to articles 7 and 18 of the convention) under agenda item 7(b) of the COP. 5. Stop Fossil Fuel Subsidies.


Article 6 Article 6 of the Convention deals primarily with the education, training and public awareness of climate change. Due to it’s relevance to young people YOUNGO has actively engaged withthese negotiations for many years. Building on previous successes, the Article 6 working group achieved a good level of youth engagement with negotiators. The group used several tactics:arranging meetings, emailing and giving out flyers to negotiators, as well as organising actions. However the approach that proved most powerful was the suggestion of specific policy amendments to the Doha Work Programme, many of which were adopted.

The finance group also led actions to campaign for the Robin Hood Tax and filling of the GCF.

Gender Leadership on gender from European negotiators provided opportunity for the gender working group to lobby forgreater women’s participation in the UNFCCC process. The group worked with negotiators and civil society organisations such as Mary Robinson Foundation to push for gender equality in the negotiations and to make the decisions more gender responsive. More specifically, they succesfully lobbied for an official gender agenda item and workshop for next COP19 in Warsaw, Poland.

Finance The YOUNGO finance working-group pushed for meaningful outcome on finance at COP18. They called for clarity, with particular attention to implementation, on climate finance in Doha. The group gave specific youth recommendations for the allocation of money within the Green Climate Fund (GCF). With regard to the plans to mobilise $100 billion by 2020 for developing countries’ mitigation and adaptation efforts,three main recommendations were proposed:

and adaptation.

“Article 6 was a big success and one that we should be celebrating. But the policy impact relating other areas could have been better. I think we need to decide what aspects of the 1. Prioritisation of finance for the most vulnerable youth; talks are most important for young people and 2. Sufficient allocation of funds for health; then focus on having a tangible impact in 3. Ensuring an adequate balance of funding for mitigation those areas - like we do with article 6!”


Youth Actions
Climate Legacy Connect the Dots The first youth action of COP18 aimed to remind negotiators of the immediacy in which we need tangible solutions to climate change. The red dots symbolised locations where youth attending COP were feeling the effects of climate change. Connected Voices Many youth from countries around the world, predominantly the global south, are underrepresented at COP’s. The Connected Voices project is addressing this power balance through a buddying system. This action raised awareness of disproportionate representation at the UNFCCC. Gender Balance A new gender policy was one of COP18’s key successes. Prior to the decision, youth came together to tell negotiators that gender balance needed to be included in the new policy. Qatar’s First Environmental March Qatar’s first environmental march was held in the middle weekend of COP18. Local hosts Doha Oasisbrought together hundreds of passionate activists under the banner ‘One Environment, One People, One Earth’ to call for Arab leadership. Our Strength Lies in Your Strength, Do the Math Alongside a parallel action at Qatar in Brussels, youth stood with the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Bopha. A member of the Filipino delegation spoke on behalf of their country and youth held signs to highlight the importance of a 2°C limit on warming. Robin Hood The Robin Hood campaign calls for a financial transaction tax to generate new revenues to be ring-fenced for addressing inequality. This action aimed to encourage the 12 EU member states on the verge of implementation to allocate 25% of revenues to the Green Climate Fund. Tree of Hope Leaves of hope were collected from a variety of delegates during the COY and early in the COP. The tree was created to showcase all the solutions expressed on the leaves of hope and inspire negotiators to take decisive action. I am Part of the Solution Youth stood on the soapbox to tell negotiators how they are part of the solution for tackling climate change. The action aimed to inspire negotiators to join with youth to be part of the solution. 20

Health The importance of health issues can get lost in the COP process but climate change continues to have an enormous effect on global health. This action raised awareness to increase the understanding of the relationship between health and climate change. Stand with the Philippines Youth sang in solidarity with the Philippine’s as the country was battered by typhoon Bopha. By showing their support they called upon negotiators to acknowledge the terrible realities of our changing climate. Fill the Fund Climate finance was a key obstacle at COP18. Youth gave negotiators the chance to ‘fill the fund’ and commit to climate finance. Negotiators were given ‘money’ and asked to place it in jars that represented range of funding options Finance our Future Tree The forests working group created a giant tree to ask negotiators to finance our future. With 17% of human-induced climate change being caused by deforestation and forest degradation forest communities must be able to adapt. This action called for climate financing for adaptation. Human Rights Action In silent protest youth campaigned to show the relevance of human rights in the negotiations. As it is not explicitly addressed in any policy area youth wanted to expose the realities of the impacts of climate change upon human rights. Sing for the Climate, Your Strength Lies in Our Strength On the penultimate day of the COP, youth and other NGOs converged under the giant spider in the QNCC foyer. Activists sang for the climate, passionately called for action through speeches and expressed their desperation through chants. Red Line On the final night of COP youth came together to produce a rapid response action. Negotiators were urged not to cross the Filipino ‘red line’ as a symbol to demonstrate the importance of protecting our planet from events like typhoon Bopha. Fossil of the Day Many youth were involved in the presentation of Fossil of the Day.Each day countries were shamed for their poor performance at COP. Fossil of the Day helped to make countries accountable to their actions and encouraged them to improve. 21

Young people at COP18 were filled with energy and passion for tackling climate change. Youth immersed themselves in the process, taking action, developing policy positions and lobbying negotiators. The process was challenging and at times demoralising, but youth will not give up. Young people are our best hope for tackling our climate crisis. We are facing a world where young and future generations will have to bare the brunt of climate change. Glaciers will melt and millions of people will cease to have access to clean drinking water. People who live in climate sensitive regions will experience devastating drought and famine. Animal’s habitats will be destroyed, oceans will become more acidic and marine life will diminish. Our world is unsustainable, our economic systems are widening inequality and we have a huge challenge on our hands. With so much at stake youth could not describe COP18 as a success. Immediately after the plenary closed, youth took to the corridors to express their disappointment. In the view of many, no deal would have been better than this deal. The message that rang through the corridors was clear: ‘Climate justice. Not here. Not now. Shame on you. We reject this text. We condemn this deal.’


Young women and men from all regions of the world consoled one another, blinking back tears and reaffirming their commitment to fighting climate change. Under the headline ‘Doha Failed to Deliver’ youth groups described COP18 as a ‘betrayal and abandonment of the world’s most vulnerable people’. Although the successes of COP18 detailed in this report should be recognised, youth were well aware that Doha had failed them.

“[The] lack of political will is locking us into a decade of inaction – a decade we cannot spare. We needed real progress, but Doha failed to deliver.” (Youth statement 2012)
The outcomes of COP18 are difficult to accept, but youth will not be giving up. Nor should world leaders. As Obama said in his second inauguration speech:

‘We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.’
In 2013 youth will be strategising, capacity building and taking action on climate change. Youth will campaign against fossil fuel subsidies, unsustainable infrastructure and advocate sustainable alternatives. Youth groups across the world will meet to build capacity and share skills. Young people will return to COP19 in force but in the meantime youth will be fighting back home.

‘We have to build movements—creative, hopeful movements that can summon our love for the planet, but also angry, realistic movements willing to point out the ultimate rip-off under way.’ Bill Mckibben, 2012

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