The 12th International Youth Conference on Climate Change, COY12, takes place just before the United Nations Conference of the Parties on Climate Change, COP22, which will take place this year in Marrakech from November 7th - 18th.We decided to start by interviewing Selma Chaouki, an friendly 27-year-old Marrokan who got her university degree in Belgium in Environmental Science. Of French upbringing, she is a member of the organizing team of the COY12 conference in Marrakech. She was only 14 years old when she started to feel passionate about anything that had to do with climate changes, which is something that shes thinks doesn’t happen very often. When we ask her why so many young people don’t know anything about this incredible event, she tells us that she believes that many young people start getting interested in topics connected to the environment when they have found The COY conferences began 11 years ago when countries’s governing bodies decided that they wanted to included young people’s opinions in the COP talks, in particular young people between the ages of 16 and 30 years of age.
The main objective of the COY conferences is to prepare a final document that sums up the work that was carried out the various groups of young people as well as their opinions. For this reason, the COY conferences take place a few days before the COP talks begin. So, at this point, you’re probably asking yourselves if this document is actually taken into consideration. Selma explains to us that not only does every country represented at the COP obbligated to read the document, they must keep it in mind when they are preparing any final proposals.
The COY conferences have aways been organized in the same city as the COP conferences, but two years ago, it was decided to organize various COY conferences to take place at the same time in different places around the world.
The main COY conference remains the one that takes place in the same city as the COP conference while the others are organized in different cities around the world . This allows young people who cannot travel at an international level (inhabitants of developing countries, for example) to participate and have their opinion included in the ufficial document.
Selma would like us to understand how special the COY12 conference is. Not only does it take place simultaneously in 24 different cities, this year for the first time, the conference’s carbon emissions will be calculated allowing the participants to understand the Carbon Footprint that the conference will leave on our planet. This will help future organizers to raise awareness and to reflect on how each event could be organized while minimizing emissions and fuel consumption.
In conclusion, for anyone wishing to learn more, it is very simple to find the page COY12 (//www.coy12.com/) and discover, also, how to participate in the forthcoming Conference of Young. It is not difficult to be part of the change!
Enrico Chiogna, Rosa Maria Currò, Tommaso Schirru