Dubai (Imran Y. CHOUDHRY):- COP28 Youth Climate Champion H.E. Shamma Al Mazrui received the Global Youth Statement: A Declaration for Climate Justice (GYS) during the ‘Youth & Education – The Latent Force of Climate Action’ session of the World Climate Action Summit in Dubai.
The GYS represents the “demands and aspirations” of children and youth from over 160 countries around the world and highlights their collective climate policy demands. It is the result of intensive policy consultations conducted by YOUNGO, the official children and youth constituency of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
It also takes into account input from local and regional Conferences of Youth, organised in the
lead up to the UN Climate Change Conference of Youth (COY18).
The GYS was finalized at COY18, which was held on 26-28 November in the leadup to COP28.
It synthesises the collective climate policy demands of children and youth from over 160 countries across the world and is supported by tens of thousands of signatories, accumulating over 750,000 inputs globally, which took approximately 53 thousand hours of work and was done through
the efforts of 1,500 volunteers.
The COP28 presidency has long stressed the importance of youth voices and ambitions in the climate process, emphasising that full inclusivity is critical to achieving transformative progress
across the climate agenda.
“Young people are the future of this world; it is essential that their voices be heard in the fight for that future,” said H.E. Shamma al Mazrui, COP28 Youth Climate Champion. “We must stand together to take young people’s voices into account and meaningfully include them not only as beneficiaries but as partners and leaders.”
“Confronted with the existential threat of climate change, children and youth from across the globe have united their voices and perspectives through the COP28 GYS. This declaration synthesises
the demands and aspirations of a generation that acknowledges its unique role and potential for transformative change both within and beyond the UNFCCC. At COP28 children and youth will
be advocating for the adoption of their demands and calling for immediate and adequate climate action and intergenerational equity,” the YOUNGO policy team said.
The GYS has increased in importance over the years along with the dedication of the youth
climate movement towards providing meaningful contributions to multilateral climate negotiations.
YOUNGO has been crafting the annual position statement since 2005 in Montreal. Since COP25, this effort has expanded and evolved into a more holistic, inclusive, and multilateral set of proposals representing the voices of people under 35 around the world.
This year’s GYS is the biggest and most inclusive statement so far in terms of countries
represented. The condensed demands are also available in multiple languages (Arabic, English, Spanish) and for the first time there will be a child language version of the condensed demands.
The GYS presents clear climate policy demands across COP28 negotiation tracks, ranging from
climate mitigation and adaptation to finance and energy to climate justice. It calls for an inclusive approach to climate governance that acknowledges the disproportionate impact of the climate crisis on the Global South and vulnerable communities and underlines the need for systemic and radical action.
The two-day World Climate Action Summit began on December 1, in Dubai, with the goal of
implementing and transforming key climate-related decisions into concrete actions and credible plans to tackle climate change. The opening of the Summit was attended by Heads of State and Government, Party delegations, specially invited guests, Heads of the United Nations and related organizations, and selected heads of inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations.