Events at Climate Change COP28
COP28 is a crucial meeting for action on climate change, as the UN warns that a radical transformation is now required. This IEF page will provide regular updates on relevant events and possibilities for participation at a distance. A report on events that have already taken place follows below.
Dubai time is 3 hours later than CET (Geneva), 9 hours later than EST (New York)
With 70,000 participants in Dubai and uncountable events, it is not easy to know what events are accessible online. The following are events of interest to IEF. Links will be provided if and when available.
Bahá'í International Community events
COP28 "Values Roadshow"
During COP28, a group of organizations including the Bahá'í International Community are coordinating a “Values Roadshow” that creates spaces across many different Pavilions and events to explore humanity’s shared values and the coherent principles to be collectively embraced to advance climate justice. These events may take on a variety of formats, but ultimately the goal is to offer an opportunity to explore the following questions:
What values must underlie initiatives and advancement on each issue?
What values currently underlie work on the issue - consciously and subconsciously?
Where do we see misalignment between the two previous questions and how can we overcome it?
What are examples where we see an evolution of thinking at the level of values on the issue?
Diversity of thought, background, and approach are critical. It is through the interaction of diverse perspectives and experiences that higher degrees of insight can be gained. We are therefore aiming to explore values through the lens of a diversity of intersecting themes and constituencies, including potentially the following issues:
- Climate induced migration
- Disaster Risk Reduction
- Food Systems
- Gender equality
- Indigenous issues
- Small Island Developing States
While there do not seem to be any Values Roadshow events with virtual participation, the following are now planned:
A Values-Based Approach to Food Systems, 6 December, 18:30-19:30, Food & Ag Pavilion
A Visual Expression of Sustainability’s Values, Friday 8 December, 18:00-19:00, Global Renewables Hub
A Visual Expression of Humanity’s Values, Monday 11 December, 16:30-17:30, Faith Pavilion
Culture, Values, and Spiritual Perspectives: Mobilising Action Towards a Just Food System Transition, 8 December, 14:00-14:45, Food4Climate Pavilion
Other events hosted by the BIC, Baha’is and partners at COP28
apparently not hybrid
Future Economy Forum/ebbf daily events in the Blue zone stand of FEF in Food Pavilion, 1-10 December
Exhibit in Startup Tech Village, December 1-3, Startup Tech Village - Kiosk 15
Geledés - Black Woman Institute (Brazil) side event, 3 December, 13:30 - 14:45 Brazil's Pavilion
The Convergence Forum, Climate Impact Storytelling Workshop, 3 December, 13:00-14:00, PCCB Capacity Building Hub (Blue Zone)
Food systems transformation: elevating healthy diets & protein diversification as climate solutions, BIC side event, 4 December, 13:15—14:45, SE Room 7
Baha’i and Partners Exhibit Booth, BIC exhibit, 4-6 December, Booth 29
The Convergence Forum, Climate Impact Storytelling Workshop, 8 December, 10:00-22:00, Slovenia Pavilion (Green Zone)
The Faith Pavilion will hold 65 sessions with 300 speakers from every corner of the world; 120 faith-based organisations have signed up to take part. The website with its programme is https://faithatcop28.com/. All the events will be livestreamed.
UNEP Faith for Earth has its own special page for COP28: https://www.unep.org/events/conference/faith-based-engagement-cop28
Beyond Growth: Prosperity in a Changing World
Wednesday 6 December 21:00-22:30; 17:00-18:30 (London Time)
Register in advance for this virtual event at https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_CgMkltu4QSyuyDIk2jqJ4Q
Given that six out of nine planetary boundaries have now been transgressed, and with cascading tipping points approaching, the gravity and urgency of the planetary climate and biodiversity emergency is patently clear, widely understood, and increasingly acknowledged. Science is showing us that unless we rapidly and radically shift course, the world is heading for catastrophic climate change and possible ecological collapse. As we are now deep into the Anthropocene, it is now clear that human extractive and polluting activities exceed the regeneration rate of natural systems. This has reinforced the conclusion that we need a new economic paradigm as the current growth policies do not correlate with the needs of a global transition towards sustainability within the operating space that safeguards the biophysical processes that regulate the functioning, stability and resilience of the entire earth’s system
The panel will:
1) Address the linkage between the current economic model, the climate and ecological crisis and social injustice and highlight why the current economic growth model fails to align with scientific evidence.
2) Discuss the various proposed approaches to move beyond a growth economy and share insights into the methodologies and tools that will enable policymakers to fully integrate social, environmental, and economic objectives.
3) Explore the ways in which governments, individuals and businesses can make the necessary changes for a just transition within planetary boundaries
Sandrine Dixson-Declѐve, Co-President of the Club of Rome
Philippe Lamberts, Member of the European Parliament and Co-President (Greens/EFA) Belgium
Patrizia Heidegger, Deputy Secretary General, Director for EU Governance Sustainability and Global Policies
Yamina Saheb, Lead Author, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Timothée Parrique, Researcher in Ecological Economics, School of Economics and Management, Lund University (Sweden)
Ms Neda Salmanpour Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Global Peace and Prosperity Forum
Climate Governance Commission events
The Climate Governance Commission is collaborating in the following events that do not presently seem to be accessible online.
Strategy session on a proposed Climate and Planetary Boundaries Leadership Centre, 2-3 December
10 Must-haves Initiative - 10 ambitious targets for global transformations that would ensure just and sustainable futures for all, 4 December, SEE REPORT BELOW
Creating A Sustainable ‘Zero Carbon Footprint’ World: Accelerating and Connecting Business, Technology and Governance Solutions (Hosted by Future Economy Forum), 4 December, 14:30 - 16:00. The first panel will bring together government officials, investors, corporates, labor leaders, and developers to discuss practical steps in achieving a 'carbon reduction' future. The second panel will broaden the global conversation, uniting corporate/labor leaders and policy experts for a comprehensive clean energy revolution.
Governing Our Planetary Emergency: Key Perspectives and Proposals from the 2023 Climate Governance Commission Report, 5 December, SEE REPORT BELOW.
Rising to the Challenge: Courageous Thinkers and Doers for a Sustainable Future, 5 December, 18:30 - 22:30. The current planetary emergency presents a transformative opportunity for a global clean energy transition, potentially saving $12 trillion by 2050 in energy system costs alone. However, courageous leadership across sectors is crucial to catalyze the necessary positive transformations.
Aligning Principles With Action: How to Make Climate Change Solutions a Reality (Hosted by the Baháʼí International Community), 7 December, 12:30 to 21:00. Discussion about the forces that prevent meaningful policy and how to overcome them by aligning principles with action.
The Role of Education in Building Climate Resilience (Hosted by Dubai Cares and the Global Center on Adaptation), 8 December, 11:00 - 12:00.
“Cleaning Up” is Part of the Solution: 10 Reasons for Paris+10, 8 December, 14:30. This event seeks to tackle an issue fundamental to the common future of humankind. A Portuguese climate law already includes the objective of recognizing the planetary climate system as a “Common Heritage of Humankind,” in addition to the Lubango Declaration of CPLP (Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries) which encourages the discussion of this subject. In this context, Common Home of Humanity has organized this event at the Portugal Pavilion at COP28, to have framing discussion on the road to Paris+10 (COP30 in 2025).
Governing Our Planetary Emergency: Sparking Governance Innovation and Bold Leadership for a Workable Future, 8 December, 16:30 - 17:45. The Chair of the Climate Governance Commission and Chair of The Elders, Mary Robinson, along with Commission Co-Chair Maria Fernanda Espinosa, 73rd President of the UN General Assembly, along with other Commissioners and Commission experts, explore the dimensions of the bold leadership, governance innovation and fresh perspectives needed to properly govern Our Planetary Emergency, in the interests of all of humanity.
REPORT ON COP28 EVENTS
The Climate Governance Commission
Governing Our Planetary Emergency
Keynote Speakers, alongside other Commissioners, were:
• Mary Robinson: Lead Co-Chair of the Climate Governance Commission and Chair of the Elders, Former President of Ireland
• Maria Fernanda Espinosa: Co-Chair of the Climate Governance Commission and Executive Director of Global Women Leaders Voices, 73rd President of the UN General Assembly
• Johan Rockström: Scientific Co-Chair of the Climate Governance Commission and Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
• Maja Groff: Convenor, Climate Governance Commission (Moderator)
Strengthening Climate Governance:
Tightening the Screws on Existing Architecture
On 1 December, experts from Wageningen University, the Earth Commission, Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) discussed innovation in governance, finding a path toward reliable Earth system management.
Moderator Maja Groff introduced the Climate Governance Commission (CGC) exploring innovative ways to improve present governance and new systems that could better respond to the current triple crisis as we overshoot planetary boundaries. The CGC report launched on 28 November makes ten near-term proposals and five medium-term initiatives, including creating a Global Environment Agency. These proposals can feed into the Summit of the Future and conferences of the parties. Science shows that we are in a planetary emergency on a path to catastrophe, requiring Earth System governance.
Sylvia Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen then addressed the issue of accountability, based on a policy brief for the CGC prepared with Arthur Dahl. There are many Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) but compliance is insufficient. Strong accountability requires measuring performance, leading to consequences. The problem is that sovereign states refuse to accept accountability. In the short term there are three options: nurturing mindsets of shared accountability based on ethical concerns; enabling broad accountability where assessments of progress cover efforts, processes and outcomes; and empowering dynamic accountability resulting in learning. The Global Stocktake under the UNFCCC could lead to a collective judgement that parties would be obliged to take into account in determining their Nationally-Determined Contributions (NDCs). Self accountability could encourage states to consider their ethical or moral responsibility with honesty and integrity. A science-based International Climate Council could recommend carbon budgets and provide tools for advocacy. Sharing of national best practices could encourage learning. Mechanisms should be created to provide tangible support if needed. However, in the longer term, deeper change will be needed, starting with a move beyond consensus to majority voting to achieve strong accountability.
Then Shikha Bhasin shared her experience with the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) in India looking at the sustainable cooling sector involving air conditioning and refrigeration. The gases used not only damage the ozone layer, now regulated under the Montreal Protocol, but are also potent greenhouse gases. An estimate that they contributed 25 percent of Indian greenhouse gas emissions blocked any policy action, but CEEW calculated this was only 7 percent because so few Indians could afford air conditioning or refrigeration. India then agreed to take the leadership among high ambient temperature countries to get these chemicals out of cooling systems. A national cooling action plan now needs to involve other relevant ministries such as agriculture and industry, as well as consumer awareness for household uses, to enable a fast transition.
Drew Jones of Climate Interactive described EN-ROADS, a policy action simulator that can show which actions leverage the most change in greenhouse gas reductions. Experience shows that simply publishing research does not impact policy. People need to experience things for themselves. Their online simulator makes it possible to show what actions would bend the curve in emissions, and what demands are most important, making it possible to challenge assumptions and demonstrate the combinations of actions that can meet global warming targets.
David Obura of the Earth Commission and chair of IPBES explored the interconnections between our interlocking crises, both environmental and social. The start must be equity, acknowledging inequalities in consumption and decision-making. To bend the curve, we need transformative change in all of them, but our institutionalised processes are trapped in silos. The Earth Commission has shown the complexity of the drivers beyond just carbon to the social aspects that need to be balanced. We need to bridge the divide between the natural and social sciences. Governance is struggling between science and policy action. The High Level Advisory Board on Effective Multilateralism has made proposals for environmental governance, and the Secretary-General has proposed an emergency platform, but how should these be designed? We should build on what we have, including the interconnectivity built into the Sustainable Development Goals. To think across divides, we could create small task forces for individual problems, and then connect them together. Science needs to innovate. IPBES is exploring interconnections, as with its nexus and change assessments.
Finally, Alyn Ware introduced MEGA, Mobilizing an Earth Governance Alliance, to be launched in January but already online, aiming for policy action. The Climate Governance Commission report is a major contribution, and other campaigns such as on Ecocide, nuclear non-proliferation and Earth trusteeship are already well developed. MEGA provides a platform for these campaigns and how to engage. The campaign for the International Criminal Court, now operational, shows what can be accomplished. The International Court of Justice could be improved by inviting other countries to accept its jurisdiction, and the request for an Advisory Opinion on the climate obligations of countries, now being considered, will be another step forward.
Issues raised in the question session included how equity could be introduced into global models by providing breakdowns by country or income levels. Parliamentarians are an important constituency that can be addressed through the International Parliamentary Union (IPU) which needs to work on the implementation of its resolutions. A UN Parliamentary Assembly could bring this group into the UN system. One challenge is how to educate policy makers in climate governance. It would be useful to have a policy clearing house to share best practices.
Maja Groff, Convenor, Climate Governance Commission (moderator)
Sylvia Karlsson Vinkhuyzen, Associate Professor with the Public Administration and Policy Group of Wageningen University, the Netherlands, Board member of One World Trust and International Environment Forum
Andrew (Drew) Jones, Executive Director and Co-founder of Climate Interactive, Co-developer of En-ROADS with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan Sustainability Initiative
Shikha Bhasin, UNEP Cool Coalition and Advisor, Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW)
David Obura PhD, MBS, Chair, IPBES (Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services), Member of Earth Commission
Alyn Ware, Mobilizing an Earth Governance Alliance (MEGA), Founder and global coordinator of the network Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (PNND)
10 Must-haves Initiative - Panel Discussion
4 December, Arizona State University (ASU) at COP28
recording at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jl3PrjmE8J4
Led by Peter Schlosser and Johan Rockström, this dialogue explored the pivotal role of the 10 Must-haves Initiative in international climate policy negotiations, fostering knowledge exchange and accelerating collective action for a sustainable and thriving future.
Peter Schlosser asked how to find other pathways to achieve the Paris Agreement. Johan Rockstrom presented the 10 Must-haves:
1. A limit of global warming as close to 1.5°C as possible by 2050
2. An immediate halt and reversal of the loss of nature’s functions and diversity
3. Just economies that operate within planetary boundaries
4. Equitable access to resources needed for human well-being
5. Governance transformations to stay within planetary boundaries
6. Healthy, safe, and secure food for the global population
7. Reconnection of human well-being to planetary health
8. An ethical digital world providing for human security, equity, and education
9. Stability and security for a global society
10. A resilient global society ready to respond to planetary crises
He said we are in the zone of danger for planetary stability, and must have a plan and be prepared to implement it. The 10 must-haves are such a plan, as discussed at the Global Futures Conference. These are not utopian, but can be realized.
Alex Dehgan gave highest priority to the loss of nature and the functions of biodiversity, since everything else depends on this one. We subsidize the destruction of nature which undermines national security. Sustainability depends on nature-based solutions, not ESG, leading to a circular economy. Companies need to be given pathways to protect nature and the climate, by monitoring their impact on nature. Mass extinction is happening, so we need to create a new regenerative economy.
Global governance was then explored by Maja Groff of the Climate Governance Commission (and IEF member). Beyond climate change, we need planetary boundary governance, referring to the CGC report issued 28 November. Strong global governance includes subsidiarity. Among the recommendations are COP reform, strengthening accountability, creating climate councils in countries to hold them to account, implementing a UN emergency platform, the General Assembly declaration of a planetary emergency, integrating scientific capacity to assess the whole Earth system, and upgrading environmental governance, including eventually a Global Environment Agency. These can be achieved through civil society coalitions with like-minded governments.
Jemilah Mahmood linked human health and planetary health. She said the health system was clueless about the rest of the world. Medical education did not include the environment, and climate change was not recognized as a health problem. The 10 must-haves were an important basis for action in the global South, but the language needs to be clear and understandable to the public. The behavioural sciences need to be involved in communicating to people, and particularly the youth. Everyone needs to be connected as we come up with a roadmap for environmental governance, leading to the Summit of the Future next year. We need a revolution in the private sector and in education, pushing for change.
The questions explored the need for revolutionary approaches, with a new generation of innovators to plan the next phase of our economy. For optimism in governance despite present nationalistic behaviour and a failing UN, we can turn to a new generation of actors overcoming climate denial and public mistrust with better communications and positive actions. Social tipping points can happen. The health sector needs to acknowledge that it contributes 5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, and needs better trajectories towards health care without harm. A planetary health strategy can educate people to planet-friendly behaviour and a planet-healthy diet. Governments need to understand that their security responsibility includes environmental security. There is a need for a whole system approach, and interconnectedness is an opportunity. We have levers for transformation, and the time to push is now.
Peter Schlosser (Vice President and Vice Provost of Global Futures, ASU Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory)
Johan Rockström (Director, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Earth League Co-Chair)
Alex Dehgan (CEO & Co-Founder, Conservation X Labs)
Maja Groff (Convener, Climate Governance Commission)
Jemilah Mahmood (Executive Director, Sunway Centre for Planetary Health)
4 December 2023
10 New Insights in Climate Science 2023/2024
Arizona State University (ASU) at COP28
video recording at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LKBamzyIi4
Peter Schlosser opened the event which reports on the 7th edition of 10 New Insights in Climate Science 2023/2024, prepared by Future Earth and published today (4 December 2023) to provide policy-makers with the latest scientific understanding of climate change over the last year, based on contributions of 67 scientists from 24 countries.
Johan Rockstrom then highlighted some of this year’s discoveries that need to be considered by COP negotiators.
1. The target remains 1.5°C, but we are now committed to 3-4 decades of overshoot which must be minimised.
2. A rapid and managed fossil fuel phase-out is required.
3. It is essential to find credible CO2 removal technologies.
4. Nature-based carbon sinks are uncertain and cannot be relied on alone.
5. The biosphere and climate change are interlinked and interdependent, with the same drivers, requiring joint governance.
8. There is a challenge of human immobility, because while climate change drives migration and conflict, the most vulnerable lose everything and cannot even afford to move.
Laura Pereira from South Africa agreed that overshooting 1.5°C is inevitable and a call to action.
5. The systemic interactions of biodiversity and climate must be managed together.
9. New tools to operationalise justice will enable more effective climate adaptation
10. Reforming food systems is necessary for just action, meeting nutritional needs while respecting environmental limits.
For Sandrine Dixson-Declève, the report shows the role of solutions in our efforts to truly decarbonise, addressing both policy-making and the need for governance frameworks.
2. New insights from science justify the fossil fuel phase-out.
3. Technologies for CO2 removal cannot replace emission reductions, we need both.
She referred to the new Climate Governance Commission report and the need for stronger governance at all levels: international, regional, national and local. There is no governance framework for the risks of geoengineering. The COP needs reform to inject the newest science, as there is no science access to the COP at present, and only 0.5 percent of people at COP are scientists.
Carlos Nobre, an Amazon specialist from Brazil, highlighted the risks in the Amazon illustrating two insights.
4. While the Amazon rainforest was a major carbon sink, it is close to a tipping point, with the dry season getting longer and land use change to pasture reducing rainfall. If this continues, it will become savanna and emit CO2 rather than absorb it.
5. This illustrates the links between climate change and biodiversity.
Brazil is now planning to restore 24 million hectares of forest to try to prevent this.
In the discussion, Sandrine noted that the Club of Rome’s Limits to Growth report 50 years ago already warned that we only had 50 years to turn the corner. We don’t have another 50 years. The new Earth for All report shows that business as usual is too little, too late. The alternative giant leap scenario includes all the insights, including the importance of social tipping points from poverty and inequality. It includes five turn-arounds for the giant leap including in the financial system, new economic indicators, and linking social and environmental transformation.
Laura linked the food system and values systems. What do we aspire to? How do we allocate value? Investing in nature in Africa should not justify consumption elsewhere. Values can give us hope, by asking what is enough, what is our entire way of being. There are African approaches against inequality, such as Ubuntu. We need a radical transformation for future generations, with values linked to all the insights. IPBES has been exploring desirable futures, although this is increasingly hard. We have to keep up hope and remain optimistic.
Sandrine pointed out that, with COVID, we made a fundamental transformation in solidarity, showing it is feasible. We can avert future crises and come together, building hope. Governments must support this, but there is a crisis in leadership. For Carlos, whose generation did not do anything, the younger generations are more open to radical change, and will soon have much more power, bringing together energy, biodiversity, and the values of Indigenous peoples. Johan was also optimistic, but from anger and frustration. Sustainability gives better outcomes, and we can bring radical change up front, going from frustration to responsibility.
On the role of science in determining actions, there has been denial all through history, but the science is too clear today to allow this to happen. Science rights and human rights go together. The loss and damage fund was announced with $400 million, but the daily profits of the fossil fuel industry are $1.2 billion. Such profiteering along with energy poverty must stop. Responsible advocates for science are playing a more positive role. Science has changed, beyond delivering information to proposing solutions. Diverse types of science and knowledge systems are emerging, more interdisciplinary including the social sciences. One can be both a scientist and an activist for science. Academia is getting better at engaging with society, but can do more.
REFERENCE: Future Earth, The Earth League, WCRP (2023). 10 New Insights in Climate Science 2023/2024. Stockholm. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.10034364
Peter Schlosser (Vice President and Vice Provost of Global Futures, ASU Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory)
Johan Rockström (Director, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Earth League Co-Chair)
Sandrine Dixson-Declève (President, The Club of Rome)
Laura Pereira (University of the Witwatersrand, Stockholm University)
Carlos Nobre (Institute for Advanced Studies, University of Sao Paulo)
5 December 2023
Governing Our Planetary Emergency: Key perspectives and proposals from the report
ASU at COP28 – Climate Governance Commission
watch recording at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIn0oTUb96M
After the November 28th launch of the Report, “Governing Our Planetary Emergency,” of the Climate Governance Commission, Chaired by Mary Robinson, Johan Rockström, and María Fernanda Espinosa, experts invited by the Climate Governance Commission (CGC), with a special focus on youth, discussed key perspectives and proposals from the report.
Maja Groff, Convenor of the Climate Governance Commission and Moderator of the panels, provided some background on the Commission in its high-level phase to provide thought leadership on needed governance innovations. The climate situation is dire, requiring improved governance at all levels. With six of nine planetary boundaries overshot, we are at the intersection of many crises. The CGC Report recommendations follow two tracks: the top 10 near-term (1-3 year) proposals, and five deeper reforms to be pursued over 3-5 years.
The first panel of Commission members and other experts reflected on proposals in the report. Clea Kaske-Kuck of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) described their Corporate Performance Accountability Guide to help businesses respect their climate obligations. There is presently a misalignment between the financial system and its company valuations with no reference to contributions to climate change, Companies need help to assess and report on their carbon performance. There is a need for government to adopt coherent policies at the local (city), national and international levels. Companies want alignment but need a level playing field. There is presently great confusion on regulations and reporting, especially between different countries and regions. Clarity and simplicity are needed.
Ma Jun from China called for agreement among the four greatest emitters, the USA, China, India and the European Union, to show the way in carbon reductions. The Chinese government supports multilateralism in the UN framework. The Paris agreement brought countries together. China and the US represent 40 percent of global emissions, and should show their responsibility in the energy transition. Big multinational companies in China, as elsewhere, have often made net-zero commitments, but do not deliver, especially when they export carbon embedded in the supply chain. Unfortunately there is no data on China to assess performance. Companies need help in measuring and disclosing their carbon emissions, and digital solutions and target setting may help. China is open to working together.
One solution was presented by Gavin McCormick in the Climate TRACE project, a collaboration of a hundred groups to use remote sensing to prepare a global map of greenhouse gas emissions from 350 million facilities, including the type of facility and the degree of confidence in the measurements. No one can hide. They have documented every ship in the oceans. This is an example of independent science offered to help countries identify emissions and plan for their reduction.
While most attention is on the big emitters, Bhadra Kanaiya described his efforts in Sunways Global to address the last mile in renewable energy connectivity for small rural villages that have great difficulty in obtaining energy access. Rather than building transmission lines from big power plants, they build small renewable energy projects within 15 miles from towns and villages. With 15 projects, they produce 100 megawatts to supply 50,000 households while making a profit. They plan to scale up to meet the needs of those suffering from energy poverty.
In the discussion, the challenge was raised as to how to make the CGC report recommendations implementable and reasonable at the local level, calling for economic inclusion and targetted media and communications.
The second panel addressed youth and advocacy, highlighting the need for a strategy for public outreach. A representative of the World's Youth for Climate Justice showed how youth could reach the highest level, in this case the International Court of Justice (ICJ), where four years ago 27 law students at the University of the South Pacific in Vanuatu initiated a request for an Advisory Opinion on State obligations under the Paris Agreement on human rights threatened by climate change. The request was carried forward by Vanuatu and supported by their campaign involving youth from all continents, leading to approval by consensus in the UN General Assembly with 132 countries voting in favour. It is now before the ICJ, and their organization is campaigning for youth submissions to the court, supported by their handbook for climate justice. When the opportunity comes for hearings before the court, they will work for youth to tell their own stories. In two days, they will receive the Carnegie Youth Peace Prize.
A representative of the Young Scholars Network, one of the oldest youth organizations with many regional chapters, considers a diversity of issues in an interdisciplinary approach that is very different among youth. Youth today have a lot of information, but do not know how to express their opinions in ways that lead to advocacy. It is important to look from regional, national and local perspectives where policy is translated into action. For a bottom-up approach, policy needs to be down-scaled to the local level.
John Vlasto then introduced MEGA, Mobilizing an Earth Governance Alliance, supported by the World Federalist Movement which works for legitimate, empowered global governance. While they failed to stop war, they succeeded with the campaign for an International Criminal Court, which shows that innovation in global governance is possible. Learning from this, MEGA aims to create a smart coalition to get traction for the CGC report, showing how like-minded countries can benefit.
An immediate and practical action for youth involvement was demonstrated by Veena Balakrishnan, whose Climate Youth Negotiator Programme puts young people into decision-making spaces to achieve intergenerational equity, starting with the UNFCCC. They train young negotiators for six months. Of the 174 negotiators from 64 countries trained this year, 125 are at COP28 in government delegations. They help to find funding for young delegates, and create spaces for a community to build consensus.
The last panelist, Joseph Hammond, youth ambassador for the African Union (AU), described the AU interfaith climate change working group, and Faith for Our Planet, making a moral and ethical case for climate action. They noted a link between climate change impacts and extremism. Drawing on all faith organizations and non-faith youth actors, they are founding new organizations, such as Faith and Her, addressing women in the global South who are most impacted by climate change.
Panel I: System Leadership and Innovation
- Ma Jun, Commissioner of the Climate Governance Commission, Director, Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs (IPE), Beijing
- Clea Kaske-Kuck, Director, Partnerships and Stakeholder Engagement & Member of the Extended Leadership Group, World Business Council for Sustainable Development
- Gavin McCormick, Co-Founder Climate TRACE
- Bhadra Kanaiya, CEO, Sunways Global, Innovator in Solar Power, Champion for Village Energy Empowerment
Panel II: Youth and Advocacy
- Young Scholars Network, Institute of New Economic Thinking (INET)
- , Core Team Member, World's Youth for Climate Justice
- Veena Balakrishnan, Founder, Youth Negotiators Academy/Climate Youth Negotiator Programme (CYNP)
- John Vlasto, Mobilizing an Earth Governance Alliance (MEGA), Chair, World Federalist Movement / Institute for Global Policy (WFM/IGP)
- Joseph Hammond, African Director, Faith For Our Planet, Pulitzer Center Grantee, African Union iDove Fellow
Last updated 5 December 2023