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Climate Conferences

Our work at the UN climate conferences

Kli­madel­e­ga­tion e.V. was found­ed in 2019, but our work goes back a long way. Back in 2008, as a work­ing group of the now defunct Youth Alliance for Future Ener­gy, we sent the first Ger­man youth del­e­ga­tion to the UN cli­mate nego­ti­a­tions in Poz­nan, Poland. One year lat­er, we con­tin­ued our work with anoth­er youth del­e­ga­tion at COP15 in Copen­hagen. In 2011, we co-host­ed the Youth Cli­mate Sum­mit with the Cli­mate Alliance. And every year since then, we have sent young peo­ple to the UN cli­mate con­fer­ences as civ­il soci­ety observers and young experts. In addi­tion to the major, inter­na­tion­al­ly known cli­mate sum­mits (COPs) such as COP21 in Paris, we are also active at the inter­im nego­ti­a­tions (SBs or intersessionals).

Active as a voice for young people

In con­ver­sa­tion with the Min­is­ter of the Envi­ron­ment Sven­ja Schulze at the COP24/Katowice (© BMU/Sascha Hilgers)

We observe the nego­ti­a­tions, make them intel­li­gi­ble for young peo­ple, and advo­cate our per­spec­tives in dis­cus­sions with nego­tia­tors and at events such as pan­el dis­cus­sions. We are in the com­pa­ny of many oth­er actors in the UN who are also advo­cat­ing their interests. 

Youth asso­ci­a­tions and youth del­e­gates such as Kli­madel­e­ga­tion e.V. organ­ise them­selves with­in the frame­work of the cli­mate nego­ti­a­tions (UNFCCC) in the inter­na­tion­al youth rep­re­sen­ta­tion YOUNGO (Youth NGOs). YOUNGO has a seat and speak­ing time in the large ple­nary meet­ings, which bring togeth­er almost 200 coun­tries. In this way, we can pre­pare speech­es joint­ly and seek to influ­ence the debate. This is impor­tant because as observers we can­not nego­ti­ate the text our­selves, but our voice must be brought into the process through the coun­try del­e­ga­tions. We do this, for exam­ple, in per­son­al talks with the offi­cial rep­re­sen­ta­tives. What influ­ence do we have with it? In 2015, for exam­ple, the key­word “inter­gen­er­a­tional jus­tice” was includ­ed in the pre­am­ble of the Paris Cli­mate Agree­ment because of years of pres­sure from youth organisations. 

Achieving more, together 

We also use the media atten­tion at the UN cli­mate con­fer­ences for our own events, press con­fer­ences, and projects. We work close­ly with YOUNGO, oth­er youth cli­mate organ­i­sa­tions from Ger­many and around the world, as well as min­istries and sim­i­lar insti­tu­tions. In 2018, for exam­ple, we set up a Fran­co-Ger­man-Pol­ish youth exchange at COP24 in Katow­ice, Poland. A year ear­li­er, we orga­nized sev­er­al Talanoa Dia­logues (Fijian dis­cus­sion form) at COP23 in Bonn. Since COP24 in Katow­ice, the Ger­man youth at UN cli­mate con­fer­ences has become increas­ing­ly more inter­con­nect­ed. We use these close ties for joint projects and appeals to politi­cians.