Young people from 140 countries who have participated in an online climate summit “Mock Cop26” have Nigel Topping, the UK’s high-ranking climate protection champion.
After two weeks of negotiations, delegates to the Topping International Youth Conference presented their formal contract during the closing ceremony of the event on Tuesday, calling on world leaders to prioritize politics during Cop26, which was postponed for a year, because of the pandemic and should now take place in Glasgow in November 2021.
Their demands include climate education at all levels of formal education, stricter ecocide laws, stricter regulation of air quality, a ban on offshoring emissions and an obligation to keep global warming below 1. 5C above pre-industrial levels.
Suphane Dash-Alleyne, a delegate from Guyana, South America, said, “Mock Cop26 sends a strong message to world leaders that young people can coordinate global negotiations and we have the solutions. Now is the time for us to take a seat at the table. ”
A legal team that included attorneys from the legal charity ClientEarth worked with delegates to translate the statement into a contract that countries could incorporate into law.
James Thornton, CEO and Founder of ClientEarth, said, “The youth behind Mock Cop26 made a powerful statement calling on governments to take action to protect future generations from the worst effects of climate change. Decisions made by governments now will affect the youngest generation for years to come. ”
The Mock Cop26 guidelines were voted on by 330 young people around the world who attended the event, with priority given to the countries hardest hit by the climate crisis – people from the global south made up 72% of the delegates.
Sainey Gibba, a 23-year-old delegate from Gambia, said: “My country is very vulnerable to the effects of climate change, especially sea level rise and coastal erosion. I feel like Mock Cop26 has really helped us raise our concerns and speak for the voiceless.
« Cop26 should never have been postponed, they should have done it practically like we did. They should really learn from us because there is so much urgency. ”
The organizers of Mock Cop26 grouped delegates by time zone to ensure they can join the two-week schedule of talks and discussions around their studies, and they hope the online conference will be a model for future large conferences that cause fewer CO2 emissions.
« If we had been able to organize a conference online that brought more than 300 delegates from more than 140 countries together to issue guidelines, so could our leaders, » said Sonali, a 21-year-old year old organizer from Patna, India. “It massively reduces the carbon footprint when people don’t have to travel. ”
The delegates and volunteers involved in Mock Cop26 are now planning to spend the next 12 months urging politicians to implement their policies at the national level in order to increase the ambitions leading up to Cop26.
Activism, Climate Change, United Kingdom
EbeneMagazine – AU – Activists from ‘Mock Cop26’ vote on the treaty ahead of the 2021 climate summit