When he learned of the one-year postponement of COP26 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Josh Tregale felt a double frustration. That of assisting, powerless, at a missed opportunity to act against the climate crisis during this great international rally. And that once again the young people were not heard, despite their mobilization and their strikes to urge leaders to fight global warming.
“Countries could have organized a global climate conference online, but they didn’t and didn’t plan anything instead. Yet it was a unique opportunity to raise ambition at a time when trillions of dollars are being put on the table to revive the economy ”, laments the 18-year-old British student. “It is difficult to understand why the whole world does not fight the climate crisis as if their lives depended on it, because for me and other young people, our life depends on their action”, adds Dom Jaramillo, 21-year-old Ecuadorian who studies agriculture in Costa Rica.
With sixteen other young people, mainly from the Fridays for Future movement launched by Greta Thunberg, they then decided to organize a substitute COP26 (“Mock COP26”, in English). From November 19 to 1is December, more than 350 delegates from 150 countries, aged 14 to 25, will gather at thea line summit, on the model of the UN gatherings, when the 26e world climate conference should have been held in Glasgow (United Kingdom) and be a crucial moment in the fight against climate change. “We will show the world what would happen if young people were the decision-makers and what a COP should look like”, says Dom Jaramillo, whose organizing team is supported by the British charity Students Organizing for Sustainability.
After an opening ceremony attended by Alok Sharma, the president of the (real) COP26 and British Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the young people will debate for two weeks on climate justice, d ‘climate education, health, green jobs and government targets for reducing their emissions. They will also hear from climatologists, economists and health professionals. Each delegation will deliver a speech to share the concerns of young people in their country and their vision of climate action at COP26 and beyond.
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