- COP 21 was a 2 day forum, held in Paris, in which participants from various backgrounds such as business, Government, finance, the UN, NGO’s and youth engaged with one another to create dialogue around climate change. This gathering was to discuss and propose recommendations and demands around creating a sustainable environment. COP 21 was a space in which everyone from all continents, world leaders to youth, had another opportunity to live up to the promises that were made during the Copenhagen Summit.
- There was a strong youth presence at COP 21 both physically and virtually. Students from 9 schools across the globe participated in the discussion around climate change. Youth from Taiwan, the United States, Singapore, Ghana, India, Brazil and Canada all connected via video conferencing through WebX to participate in the forum. In addition to this strong virtual presence, 2 students, Emma and Hanna from Sweden, were present in Paris. They were there to present the White paper, which was the result of the #Decarbonize project, in order for youth voices to be heard around the issue of maintaining a sustainable environment.
- The #Decarbonize project, which is the world’s largest synthesis of youth research, recommended policy & action on Climate Change. As a part of the initiative, TakingITGlobal in partnership with the Centre for Global Education, Polar Bears International and the Waterloo Global Science Initiative facilitated a dialogue among 10,000 youth through 25,000 hours of collaboration to produce a paper to present during COP21.
- This was emphasized by Emma and Hanna, high school students from Sweden who represented the #Decarbonize project at COP21, “it is of utter importance to listen to people’s opinions and challenges around the world and take them seriously, and to realize that every local problem is also a global problem, since we all have an impact on our climate and have responsibility for solving the climate crisis.“
- In addition to the presentation of the #Decarbonize project at COP 21, the youth from around the globe engaged with one another in discussion around the possible outcomes of this forum. There was dialogue around topics such as, individual, local, national and global activities that contribute to climate change and the ways in which the activities at these different levels interact and connect with another. There was also discussion around already present indicators that climate change is happening and where and whom it is negatively impacting.
This forum provided an opportunity for youth to share their ideas, opinions, recommendations and calls for action with one another. It was an opportunity to demonstrate that youth have power to create change through their voices being heard as Emma and Hanna said, “[this is] our future, our world”.