Home Climate Change GEF sponsors 13 youth ambassadors for COP28 climate summit

GEF sponsors 13 youth ambassadors for COP28 climate summit

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The Global Environment Facility (GEF), in a bid to invest in the next generation of environmental leaders, is sponsoring 13 youth ambassadors from across Latin America to participate in the 2023 United Nations climate summit as part of their national delegations.

In a pilot partnership with Operation COP: Youth Ambassadors for Climate, a Climate Reality Project Latin America initiative, the GEF will support the participation of young delegates from 10 countries to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change’s 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28), taking place Nov. 30 to Dec. 12, 2023, in Dubai.

The youth delegates from Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, and Peru will be part of their country delegations and take part in negotiations on issues related to climate change mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage, and more.

Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, the GEF’s CEO and Chairperson and a long-time participant in international environmental negotiations, said having young people at decision-making tables was an urgent priority.

“Today’s young people are engaged, informed, and needed in negotiating rooms as countries make decisions affecting their future,” he said.

“We are thrilled to support these 13 youth ambassadors as part of our efforts to elevate young leaders and create opportunities for more inclusion in local, national, and international initiatives for the environment.”

Operation COP: Youth Ambassadors for Climate was launched in 2021 to connect young climate change experts with international negotiations, helping to fill a need for youth representation in the generation of national climate policies and plans.

The initiative supports the UNFCCC’s Action for Climate Empowerment strategy with a focus on education, public awareness, public access to information, training in specific skills, citizen participation, and international cooperation.

Investing in young people is said to be a priority for the GEF, which is the largest source of multilateral funding for developing countries’ work to address climate change, biodiversity, and pollution.

It works with youth leaders in multiple ways, including through organisations such as YOUNGO, the Global Youth Biodiversity Network, the UNCCD Youth Caucus, and the local and national chapters advising the multilateral environmental conventions the multilateral fund serves.

Young scientists interested in environmental conservation can also explore training and networking support through the GEF’s Fonseca Leadership Programme.

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