It seems like the younger generation are putting their foot down when it comes to the climate crisis. Leaders from around the globe were expected to attend a United Nations (UN) conference in Glasgow this month. But due to the global pandemic, the important talks have been postponed until 2021. That’s bad news for the activists, our planet, and ourselves as action needs to be taken to reduce the effects of climate change.
Impressively, these young people are refusing to let the UN put off the Cop26 conference. They’re organizing their very own virtual conference called Mock COP26 that will see 350 young delegates from around the globe team up to demand change in how we collectively treat our planet.
Who’s Behind Mock COP26
So who’s responsible for Mock COP26? A group of 18 students make up the official staff of the virtual conference, but they have an additional 196 volunteers from around the world. Everyone involved is under 30 years old, proving that young people are serious about climate policy change. One of their delegates, 14-year-old Lavinia Iovino, spoke out about the importance of this conference.
“I was very disappointed because it showed that political leaders think we can give ourselves a year more, when we just can’t do that; the climate crisis is happening right now,” Lavinia explained. These are sentiments echoed by 19 year old student organizer Phoebe Hanson: “If you’re not going to invite us into the room we will create the room ourselves and we will speak until you listen to us.”
What To Expect
One thing is for sure – these organizers are taking their job seriously. Mock COP26 has partnered with the video communications giant Zoom, and will bring together 10 days worth of speeches, statements, panels, and talks involving 141 countries. It’s a demanding undertaking, but event organizer 18-year-old Josh Tregale believes they can pull it off. “It’ll be ambitious, but it will also be realistic.”
Josh revealed what the organizers are hoping to achieve: “We want to illustrate that young people have opinions, but they also know how to implement things and they can be leaders.” Personally, we’re really looking forward to seeing what comes of it. The two-week youth climate conference is scheduled to take place between November 19th to December 1st.