Day 8 of COP 19/CMP 9 began with an eye-catching installation by the YOUNGO working group on Intergenerational Equity. This time, the principle of ‘IntEq’ was framed in terms of empowerment. Gone was the tape muffling the voices of tomorrow’s citizens - instead, signs reading ‘Let IntEq build bridges’ were illustrated by a line of youth delegates piecing together such a bridge, one by one. Their reasoning: integrating this principle in the text of 2015’s desired agreement can serve to unite different discourses on equity (gender equity, indigenous peoples’ rights and suchlike) across time, making a promise of recognition to current as well as future generations.
The Secretary-General’s Summit
The UN Secretary-General's invitation for youth to sit at the table at his 2014 Climate Change Summit was consolidated by the recent visit of his Envoy on Youth to Warsaw. The visit initiated a dialogue on how youth representation at the Summit might look. During the opening ceremony of the conference's High-Level Segment on Tuesday, the Secretary-General announced that the Summit would take place on 23 September 2014. This would delay the beginning of the 69th session of the UN General Assembly by a day, putting the climate question in first place.
In a brainstorming session about possible youth contributions to the event, the Envoy on Youth made it clear: the Secretary-General was counting on the energy and creativity of young people from around the world to help enthuse and inspire governments to take ambitious climate action. With a date to work towards now, the next few months of planning and gearing up for the Summit promise to be exciting.
COP in your City
With so much going on in the concentrated space of the Stadium, members of YOUNGO understand the importance of sharing these developments beyond the Stadium. The youth-led ‘COP in my City’ initiative coordinates between youth delegates at the conference venue and young climate activists at home. Thanks to Skype, maintaining a feedback loop is easy: the successes and frustrations of the day can be shared, inquiries answered and fresh suggestions considered. And even on days where COP attendees feel not much headway has been made on the topics they are following, they can still spread the word and raise awareness. After all, the journey towards wider climate consciousness is also part of the goal.