We are raising funds to get Latin American and Caribbean climate activists to COP26 in Glasgow!
*Thank you to Climate Live for being our legal entity and holding funds.
The next big climate change conference, the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26), is scheduled to take place in Glasgow, UK, from the 31st of October to the 12th of November 2021. It will gather country delegates, scientists, civil society observers, media, business representatives and other key stakeholders to decide on the next steps regarding the climate crisis and evaluate the progress made so far (or the lack thereof). The COP26 president Alok Sharma has the goal of organizing the “most inclusive COP in history”, as a response to the claims from civil society for true climate justice.
We are Unite for Climate Action (U4CA), a diverse group of young people from Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe, connected through experience of direct and indirect consequences of climate change while also being part of the solutions for the crisis. We have been working together to foster access for marginalized groups in international decision making spheres, with special focus on Black, Indigenous and People Of Color (BIPOC). We are representing 19 nationalities in total: Anguilla, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Trinidad and Tobago, Honduras, Uruguay, Haiti, The Bahamas, Peru, Jamaica, Montserrat, Germany, Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
Although the youth participation in the UNFCCC has steadily grown, it still continues to suffer widely from uneven distribution of origin and background of the participants. The majority of young people who attend the climate talks come from the Global North (GN), while participation of youth from the Global South (GS) and especially Latin America and the Caribbean is sporadic and limited. If LAC participants are present they often belong to the most privileged in their country and do not represent the communities who suffer the most from the climate crisis. Such unbalanced youth representation greatly undermines the ability of youth participation to serve as the collective voice of global youth and to promote youth concerns within the realms of international climate negotiations. The cause of this disparity is primarily a lack of the financial resources needed to travel to UNFCCC meetings, hence there is a need to provide support to youth from Global South in order to facilitate their effective participation in the climate change process.
We have been working together for 1.5 years now virtually and tried to attend climate conferences twice; both unsuccessfully due to the global pandemic (check out our history on our website!). But we are not giving up! We have managed to secure accreditation to COP26 for our members and are now looking for funding. We started this crowdfunder to ask for your kind support. With the money we will need to cover the following costs for as many of our members as possible:
Travel to and from Glasgow (plus domestic travel within home country to airport)
Travel within Glasgow to and from conference areas
Daily allowances for food
To cover the minimum cost of each member we need an average of £2,200.
During the 3-week long stay in Glasgow, UK, we will participate in the 16th Conference of Youth and the COP26 conference as well as other spaces of civil society.The places will include but are not limited to:
The COY16 conference
The COP26 conference
The Civil Society Summit organized by the COP26 Coalition
We are connected with lots of people and organizations who have been to COPs and have done capacity-building sessions with us. We are also actively taking part in the thematic working groups of YOUNGO, official youth constituency to the UNFCCC. For the time until COP26 we are planning to meet regularly to plan our activities at and around COP. We have confirmed a side event with partners at COP (and hopefully at COY16 as well) where we will share our perspectives and knowledge.
Outcome and Follow-Up Processes
We intend to document our participation video graphically and audiovisually. The videos will be published on the social media pages (@uniteforclimateaction) and website of the project. After returning to our home countries we will reflect on our activities in online reflections session sessions. We will also provide a full report for our funders if you leave your email address with us when making the donation.
Coming back to our countries we would like to share the knowledge that we have gained during the conference via workshops and talks to empower more young people to raise their voices even in places where they thought they could never be. We also want to use the international networks that we will have connected with to continue with international campaigns.
Furthermore, we would like to organize more projects like this one in order to give more people like us the chance to empower themselves and get engaged on an international level.
Please help us get to COP26 by supporting our crowdfunder!
Find out more about the project and our journey here
- Jett Zhang
- Megan Seely
- Tamsin Ryder
- Claire Winchester