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
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.