During Mock COP26, a youth-led climate conference held from 19 November- 1 December, we witnessed compelling statements brought forth by delegates, staff, and volunteers alike. We collectively called for substantive climate action at COP26. On the last day of the conference, we published the Declaration of Mock Conference of the Parties 26 or Mock COP26 Treaty. In our treaty, we noted the importance of the Intergovernmental Declaration on Children, Youth, and Climate Action in our commitment to Climate Education.
YOUNGO (the official Youth Constituency of the UNFCCC), the COP25 Presidency, UNICEF, and the Children’s Environmental Rights Initiative (CERI) collaborated to create the Declaration. YOUNGO set its priorities, with inputs contributed by children and youth on a global scale. This Declaration lays out a first of its kind comprehensive set of commitments for State Parties to accelerate inclusive, child and youth-centered climate policies and action at national and global levels.
These commitments are relevant in the context of UNICEF analysis which shows only 42% of NDCs or national climate plans mention children or youth. This is why the mission of this Declaration is all the more integral to the success of youth everywhere. The Declaration amplifies youth climate action and the inclusion of youth in decision-making processes now and in the coming years.
AMPLIFY OUR ACTIONS
To continue raising ambition ahead of the COP, we now call on all State Parties to align with and implement the Declaration’s critical commitments. The adoption of the Declaration ensures children and young people’s right to a safe and healthy planet.
We equally call on children and youth everywhere, to take action and engage their leaders to support the Declaration. Youth can support the Declaration by signing and amplifying the YOUNGO open letter supported by CERI, launched on December 2nd, 2020. This open letter calls on governments to sign and implement the Declaration.
Samia is a 20-year-old environmental justice and human rights advocate and international fashion model from the USA. She is a Mock COP26 Volunteer, a member of the UN Environment Programme Major Group for Children and Youth and the Official Youth Constituency to the UNFCCC, and a former Youth Delegate at UNITE 2030. She is currently a senior undergraduate student at St. John’s University.