2023 marked the second year of the partnership between UN CC:Learn and the Future Leaders Network to deliver the Fundamental Climate Youth Negotiator Programme. About 140 youth negotiators from over 50 countries around the world took part in it.
The training was an intense 6-month programme that spanned 6 interactive modules, ranging from technical knowledge around the UNFCCC process, and thematic areas of negotiation – such as negotiation skills and tactics – to building soft skills, like leadership, networking, and community building. The training culminated in a 2-day face-to-face negotiation simulation training in November 2023 during COP28 in Dubai, UAE.
The Climate Youth Negotiator Programme is designed to equip youth negotiators with the knowledge and skills to navigate multilateral climate negotiations. Over the 28 years of climate negotiation, there has been growing momentum to strengthen young people’s representation and participation in decision-making, including in climate negotiations. The goal of the Climate Youth Negotiator Programme speaks to several mandates that recommend the increase and improvement of youth participation in UNFCCC negotiations, most recently the Glasgow Climate Pact, which “urges Parties and stakeholders to ensure meaningful youth participation and representation in multilateral, national and local decision-making processes, including under the Paris Agreement”.
In addition to the training, a couple of negotiators also took part in a panel on “Enabling Youth Climate Action Leadership through Innovative Learning” organized by Monash University and UNITAR during the Youth, Children, Education, and Skills Day at COP28. They shared insightful ideas on how to co-create and deliver effective learning strategies, products, and initiatives that empower youth to take leadership roles in climate action.
The success of the programme shows not only the power of collaboration and the shared mission of intergenerational climate justice but most importantly that now is the time to elevate and empower youth voices where it matters the most – in decision-making – and that they have the power to shape what their future looks like in an ever-complex world.