The 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is a pivotal event in our collective journey towards a sustainable future. As the global community grapples with the escalating challenges of climate change, the role of diverse voices, particularly youth, becomes increasingly significant. With much gratitude and excitement, I’ve been selected as an Australian Youth Delegate, with AYFICE, to attend this influential event. This article will delve into COP28, the vital role of youth, things to look forward and resources to stay informed as we quickly approach the conference.
COP28 convenes global leaders, activists, and policymakers and acts as more than a conference; it is an opportunity for collaboration, connection and innovation as we navigate the challenges of climate change. This annual summit serves as a critical checkpoint for assessing progress, setting new targets, and forging international cooperation in environmental policies and actions.
This year’s conference specifically aims to achieve tangible progress in climate action, supporting SDG 13, focusing on three key areas:
- Strengthening Climate Action: Building on previous agreements, COP28 aims to intensify efforts to combat climate change and meet the ambitious targets set in the Paris Agreement.
- Focusing on Sustainable Development: Aligning climate action with the broader objectives of the SDGs (details on each SDG on our blog), ensuring a holistic approach to our planet’s health
- Enhancing Global Resilience: A key goal is to increase global resilience, particularly for those most affected by climate change, through innovative adaptation strategies.
The Power of Youth Voices at COP28
The involvement of youth and young leaders in COP28 transcends representation. It’s about involving those who are adopting the consequences of these decisions and allowing fresh perspectives, innovative solutions, and a sense of urgency into the discussions and actions around climate change. Youth delegates, through advocacy and insights, are pivotal in ensuring that the decisions made today resonate with the needs and aspirations of future generations across our global context.
The UNFCCC has recognised this, with the COP introducing a dedicated ‘Youth Day‘ last year. It aims to further provide a direct platform for youth voices to influence the climate agenda, highlighting their unique perspectives and ensuring their active participation in shaping global climate policies.
Looking Ahead: Mission and Insights
Representing the Australian youth perspective, the focus is on advocating for sustainable practices, promoting the use of practical tools and solutions (like the SDG Align toolkit), facilitating impactful and educative discussions and ensuring diverse youth and Australian perspectives are platformed. I believe strongly in the importance of practical, actionable and science-based solutions in achieving the SDGs and goals at COP28, emphasising the need for collaboration across different sectors and global communities.
The insights and experiences gained from this global platform will be shared with the broader SDG Align community and our team, enriching our collective understanding and approach towards sustainability. This exchange of knowledge and perspectives is crucial for developing effective strategies to address climate change and promote sustainable development. I’ll be sharing insights, resources, and updates from COP28 during and after the event on our platforms so make sure to keep an eye out!
Below are resources that provide information on COP28, outline youth engagement, and guide your involvement and updates:
COP28: Overview and Updates
- Climate Action Tracker: An analytical overview of the expectations and impacts of COP28.
- Carbon Brief: Provides in-depth analysis and news on COP28 and other climate-related topics.
- UNFCCC Newsroom: For updates and information on virtual participation in COP28.
Youth Engagement in COP28 and Sustainability
- Youth and Climate Change – United Nations: This page provides insights into how young people are involved in the UN’s climate change agenda.
- Children and Youth Constituency to UNFCCC (YOUNGO): YOUNGO is the official youth constituency of the UNFCCC, offering a platform for youth engagement in climate negotiations.
Australia’s Participation and Agenda at COP28
- The Climate Council – Australia’s Role in International Climate Talks: Insights into Australia’s position and commitments in international climate discussions, including COP28.
- The Conversation – Australia and COP: Offers articles and analysis on Australia’s climate policies and its role in international climate negotiations like COP28.
Join the Action at COP28
- UNFCCC Participation: Information on how to participate in UNFCCC processes, including COP28, both in person and remotely.
- Global Climate Action – NAZCA: The Non-State Actor Zone for Climate Action (NAZCA) portal by UNFCCC, where individuals and organizations can register climate actions and engage with COP events.
- COP28 Engagement Opportunities: Further details on how individuals can engage with COP28 from the UNFCCC.