Updates in Climate Negotiations
By Nhattan Nguyen
Although the climate negotiations have mostly been an affair with participants of the UNFCCC process at the Bonn Intersessionals and the Conference of Parties (COP), it has now been gaining more prevalent attention in the operating space of the Major Group of Children and Youth, and with good reason. Climate change is a cross-cutting issue with development and, left unchecked, risks offsetting all gains made so far in development.
Climate was already an important theme at the last Conference on Youth in Sri Lanka. Through the efforts of the Major Groups, it also made it as a standalone goal in the latest SDGs Zero draft. With both the Post-2015 agenda and a planned climate agreement for the Paris COP21 climate conference to be signed off in 2015, it will be important for youth constituencies to coordinate their efforts to strengthen the importance of both themes in each process.
We will need to be on the lookout with many climate events coming up. As many of you may know, Ban Ki-moon is convening a special Climate Summit on September 23, right before the General Assembly. Although it is a mostly exclusive event for world leaders, 4 speakers and 34 observers have been invited from civil society, many of whom are youth. The speaker for the opening ceremony is Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, a young poet of the Marshall Islands. UN Women are also supporting 6 young women to take part in the “Leader’s Forum on women leading the way: raising ambition for climate summit” on September 22, also to be held in New York. In November, the Venezuela government is convening a social pre-COP to build on the climate movement before COP20 in Lima, Peru, from December 1-12.