This article is one of several on the #Youth4ClimateLive Educational Toolkit and may be updated as new episodes of the Youth4Climate Live Series are released.
Young people all over the world see climate change as the defining crisis of our time and want to take action. This is about their future—both short-term and long-term—and youth voices, ideas, and stories need to be included at the highest levels of decision-making. Many young people are experiencing climate impacts first-hand and others are learning about climate change in schools and universities, but what can they do about it? That’s where the #Youth4ClimateLive Series and complementary Educational Toolkit come in!
What is #Youth4ClimateLive?
The #Youth4ClimateLive Series brings together a diverse group of unstoppable youth at the forefront of creative climate action to have virtual intergenerational and interactive conversations with policy makers and experts on a variety of climate topics. The goal of #Youth4ClimateLive is to engage, educate, and excite a worldwide cohort of young people so they can collaborate with their peers, lead their communities, and influence policymakers to enact meaningful climate action at the local and global levels. By watching the series, young people will:
Find an accessible and exciting entry-point to exploring the world of climate impacts, solutions and policies through inspirational youth-led conversations.
Learn from the leaders of their generation who are implementing climate solutions within their own communities and be introduced to movers and shakers from the global climate policy landscape.
Connect with other young climate advocates from around the world
Increase their climate literacy on key topics such as: Sustainable Recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, Nature-Based Solutions, and Adaptation & Resilience.
We would like to invite all students, teachers, and parents to join the Series as active participants and add their voices to the conversation on social media using the hashtag #Youth4ClimateLive. What’s more, students have the opportunity to enter the #SumItUp Competition for a chance to win a spot at the Youth4Climate: Driving Ambition event just before Pre-COP26 in Milan next year!
What is Pre-COP26?
To explain what a Pre-COP is, we should first introduce what a COP is! Every year, the United Nations hosts a high-level climate summit called the Conference of the Parties (COP), where representatives from 197 countries (aka “parties”) convene to take decisions necessary to promote the effective implementation of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The main aim of the Convention is to prevent “dangerous” human interference with the climate system. Each COP is hosted by a different country, with the first summit being held in Berlin in 1995. You may have heard of the landmark Paris Agreement, which was adopted in 2015 under the French COP21 Presidency. The most recent COP was the 25th, held in Madrid at the end of 2019, where a partnership between the UK and Italy for the presidency of COP26 was decided in response to the UN's call for even more ambitious targets in efforts to implement the Paris Agreement.
The UK will host COP26 in Glasgow from 1 to 12 November 2021, with Italy hosting a number of key preparatory events in Milan such as the youth event "Youth4Climate: Driving Ambition", from 28 to 30 September 2021, and the Pre-COP Summit, from 30 September to 2 October 2021. Pre-COP26 will be attended by around 40 countries, representatives of the UNFCCC Secretariat, the chairs of the Subsidiary Bodies of the Convention and a number of stakeholders who play a key role in the fight against climate change.
The Youth4Climate: Driving Ambition event plans to bring together almost 400 young people aged between 18 and 29 from all over the world for a landmark youth conference in Milan. The first two days will be dedicated to working groups, where the young delegates will have the chance to develop concrete proposals on topics relevant to the COP negotiations, while the final day will host intergenerational discussions between Youth4Climate participants and the Ministers attending Pre-COP26.
If you’re a young person reading this wondering, “How can someone like me get involved with Youth4Climate, Pre-COP or COP26?,” you’re in luck: there are lots of ways to engage! The first is by tuning in to the #Youth4ClimateLive Series, which aims to build momentum towards these important 2021 events! Students can also enter the #SumItUp Competition for a chance to join the Youth4Climate delegates in Milan next year! Another way to drive ambition towards COP26 is to take part in YOUNGO, the official Youth Constituency of the UNFCCC, or participate in the sixteenth Conference of Youth (COY). You can use the #Youth4ClimateLive Educational Toolkit to get involved too.
By learning the basics of climate policy and engaging with the #Youth4ClimateLive community, you can share your knowledge and passion with your friends, teachers and community! We all have a role to play, and yours is unique to who you are and the skills, talents, and passions you possess.
What is the #Youth4ClimateLive Educational Toolkit?
The #Youth4ClimateLive Educational Toolkit is an interactive document that links to learning resources and activities to complement the virtual series. This toolkit is constructed in a dynamic way so that anyone - educators, students, and/or parents - can use the #Youth4ClimateLive Series and Toolkit as resources to plan exciting lessons & creative activities, dig deeper into important climate topics and engage directly with the global #Youth4ClimateLive community.
The Toolkit is divided into three sections: LEARN, ACT, and GET INSPIRED. Click on the topic in each section to find a web-based interactive collection of resources. In LEARN, resources are labeled to indicate an intermediary or advanced level. “Get Your Feet Wet” resources are accessible to most learning levels while “Dive Deeper” resources are more technical and scholarly, linking to detailed studies and papers. To go beyond learning about the topics, ACT offers an array of activities that can be completed alone or in collaboration with others as classroom exercises - in both virtual and in-person settings. Finally, GET INSPIRED recommends creative ways to engage with climate action through poetry, music, films, games, puzzles, and apps. Everyone has a part to play in creating a resilient and sustainable future and we hope that this toolkit will provide students and youth with new ways of harnessing their creativity, interests, and skills to engage more meaningfully with climate action.
You can also navigate directly to our web-based Toolkit resources using the links below:
Thumbnail image courtesy of Sasin Tipchai, Pixabay.
What are COP and Pre-COP?
Get Your Feet Wet
Read: About COY - Learn about the annual Conference of Youth, which is organised by youth and for youth every year just before the COP.
What is the Paris Agreement?
What is Climate Ambition?
Get Your Feet Wet
Explore: Visual Representation of the UN Environment 2019 Emissions Gap Report
Read: COP25 Announcement on the Climate Ambition Alliance, which highlights that ‘ambition’ in the COP context usually refers to the strength of all of countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and whether the collective impact is sufficient to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Read: What is a NDC? by World Resources Institute
Watch: Working Towards Climate Goals: The NDC Support Facility from The World Bank Group
Read: 4 Reasons for Countries to Enhance Their NDCs by 2020 by Connect4Climate
Read: The Heat Is On: Taking Stock of Global Climate Ambition, a UN Development Programme NDC Global Outlook Report 2019
Read: Emissions Gap Report 2019 by UN Environment
Explore: NDC Explorer - an interactive web-based tool to explore Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) by country