What Youth Can Do

There are many ways for young people to get involved in a COP, whether you participate on site or at home!  Here are some ideas, feel free to tweet us with more ideas (and your experiences)

FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH THE PROCESS

ENGAGE WITH OFFICIALS THROUGH INPUT AND DIALOGUE

  • Write a letter to your elected officials explaining why your country should actively participate in COP and the issues you feel are the most pressing.  You can send the same letter to multiple officials.  Here is a list of individuals you may want to target, your country’s:

    • Head of State

    • Environment Minister

    • Foreign Affairs Minister

    • Finance, Economy or Industry Minister

    • Energy or Agriculture Minister

    • Your local representative or Mayor

  • Reach out to your country delegation and negotiation team and ask for ways you can get involved or help.  This can take a little bit of digging via LinkedIn or government websites, but normally this information will be shared by the government if you ask.

    • If your country delegation does not have a youth representative, ask if they have considered adding one and, if they agree, reach out to CliMates for training to prepare.

  • Find your country representatives on-site.  Often individual countries have booths and/or hold events.  See if you can find where your country is involved and reach out for a discussion about the issues you feel are most pressing.

  • Do some research on where you can submit formal input, interventions and submissions to your country regarding climate change.  Often governments will put strategies or plans open for comment.  You can also reach out to local climate-related NGOs and advocacy organizations to see how you can support or engage in more direct lobbying for climate action.​

COMMUNICATE ABOUT COP AND AMPLIFY AWARENESS

  • Reach out to your local media outlets and see if they are aware of COP and climate negotiations more broadly.  Suggest story topics, events they can cover, and offer support to put it on the agenda.

    • Track the negotiations by following the Earth Negotiations Bulletin to come up with story ideas based on the latest developments in the process.

  • Communicate about COP through your own social media to let your friends and
    family know why it matters.

  • Consider running an awareness campaign in your local community.  You can, for
    instance, join one like Fridays for the Future or start your own.

UNIFY WITH OTHER YOUTH TO CREATE POWER IN NUMBERS

ORGANIZE AND PARTICIPATE IN EVENTS AND ACTIONS

  • Organize a COP simulation in your city, region or country.

  • Organize an event about youth and climate action at or around COP, as a side event on-site or in your community to raise awareness and engage a local audience.

  • Organize and participate in actions in and around COP.

    • This paper by the Geneva Academy provides a lot of information about the right to peacefully protest and considerations one should make when planning an action.

    • This guide by an American NGO gives very succinct recommendations around actions and peaceful protest.

  • Reach out to events that are already happening in your community or at COP and suggest that they include a youth voice as a speaker; if you are comfortable you can volunteer to be that voice.

  • Seek out speaking opportunities in the COP plenary sessions through constituency groups.

  • Attend climate-related events online, in your community or at COP to learn more about climate action.

    • If you are attending COP, taking some time before you arrive to make a side-event list can help you to stay focused once you are on-site and not miss discussions you intended to participate in.

BUILD YOUR NETWORK

  • Climate action is a lifelong journey.  Using moments like COP to meet people, build your network, and look for jobs related to climate change is a great way to build a strong foundation that you will utilize well into the future.

MAKE CLIMATE ACTION GLOBAL AND YEAR ROUND!

  • While COP is a fantastic moment to focus on climate action, don’t forget that you can do all of these things year round, wherever you are in the world through continual dialogue, education and awareness raising.