Climate change

Youth leadership on COP27

Please also read: COP27 – Week 2 roundup

Young people are definitely shaping outcomes at COP27

Sophia Kianni
20 y.o., the youngest advisor to the UN Secretary General on climate

The 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference or Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC, more commonly known as COP27, was the 27th United Nations Climate Change conference. It took place from 6 November until 18 November 2022 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

This year is different from previous, specially, because of representativeness of young climate activists from the countries at high climate change risk. At COP27, it was the first time young people had a dedicated space so called Children and Youth Pavilion.

This is for the youth, organised by us. Unlike government and business areas, there’s no corporate branding everywhere

Sophia Kianni
23 y.o., climate change activists from Pakistan

Youth worries at COP27 forefront

Mana Omar worried the summit would not bring the climate finance that her home country of Kenya desperately needs, and referred to COP27 as a “trade fair”. Despite this, she travelled here as a representative for her nomadic community, which is seriously impacted by drought.

COP27 was blamed in greenwashing, mainly because of high amount of speakers from oil and gas production industries and muted voices of people who actually are struggling from climate change consequences. Delegates had to pay around $4,000 a week for accommodation, as well as cover high costs of travel and visas, which makes it almost impossible to afford for people from civil society. Despite some getting grants for travel and hotels, they could not even afford to eat at the conference.

Backstage conversations where countries stake out their positions for the final agreement at COP27 involved youth as well. Youth activists were hopeful for financial support for their communities affected by climate change. But as a firm decision from world leaders to drastically phase out fossil fuels did not come to pass, they will have to come back next year.

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