Wednesday 21 February 2024

Youth at the conference

World’s largest youth climate conference opens

SHARJAH, November 26, 2023

The most extensive youth conference dedicated to multilateral UN climate processes, which kicked off, aims to foster global youth engagement and discourse on critical climate issues.
Co-hosted by American University of Sharjah (AUS), the Global Conference of Youth (COY18) emphasises the imperative of engaging and empowering the younger generation in the pursuit of sustainable solutions as the world gears up for the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) taking place November 30 to December 12 in Dubai.
Along with co-hosts New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) the Arab Youth Centre, the annual conference is held until November 28 under the observance of YOUNGO, the official children and youth constituency to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). 
Meaningful change
“The involvement of youth in climate change action is not symbolic but instrumental in driving meaningful change and fostering a collective commitment to environmental stewardship. The centrality of youth in this context becomes a catalyst for innovation, advocacy and a more inclusive approach towards addressing the challenges posed by climate change,” said student Jahnavi Doshi, AUS’ lead representative in the COY18 Steering Committee and scope lead in media and communications.
She added: “As students representing AUS, we take immense pride in our role on the global stage, actively contributing to the development of climate change policies aligned with the UNFCCC.”
Participants in COY18 will be contributing to the Global Youth Statement, which is a collective statement representing the perspectives of youth from around the world that will be presented to decision-makers at COP28.
On-ground campaigns
They will also be creating on-ground campaigns, and brainstorming climate solutions and initiatives; networking through roundtable discussions, focus groups, fun activities and bilateral meetings with decision-makers; and building capacity through workshops, training, courses, and plenary sessions on negotiations, leadership, policy, fundraising, media training and advocacy.
Working group sessions will cover a variety of issues held under the themes of climate equity and justice transition; technology and innovation; water, food and agriculture; climate action plans, global stocktake and nationally determined contributions; nature and biodiversity; climate finance and markets; health; migration; adaptation and resilience; action for climate empowerment; and energy transition.
AUS Sustainability is organising a capacity-building workshop as part of the conference on November 27 titled "Whole Foods at the Center of Health and Climate," addressing escalating health concerns and the urgent need to address climate change. The session is designed to empower individuals, communities and organisations with the knowledge and skills necessary to integrate sustainable and health-centric practices into their daily lifestyles and operations. 
It aims to foster a comprehensive understanding of the interconnectedness between nutrition, health and climate. It encourages participants to explore how adopting a whole foods approach not only promotes individual well-being but also contributes to mitigating climate change and building more sustainable communities.
AUS student leadership team
The AUS student leadership team co-hosting COY18 comprises Jahnavi Doshi, AUS lead representative in the COY18 Steering Committee and scope lead in media and communications; Jawwad Sheikh, AUS co-lead in the COY18 Steering Committee and scope lead in volunteer management; Aamuktha Samjyaraman, scope lead in programs, opening and closing ceremonies; Sameera Khan, scope lead in programs and partners; Mohamed Amaan Siddiqui, scope lead in research and reporting; Manal Nadeem, scope lead in the Global Youth Statement; Tavishi Doshi, working group advisor on finance; Siraj Mecci, working group advisor on logistics and the Global Affairs Unit; and Mahasen Mudallali, working group advisor on delegate relations.
AUS is a member of the Universities Climate Network (UCN), which comprises UAE-based universities and higher education institutions facilitating dialogues, workshops, public events and youth participation in the lead up to COP28. 
AUS is also a member of the UAE Alliance for Climate Action (UACA), a domestic alliance of stakeholders led by Emirates Nature-WWF. UACA is the flagship non-state actor program for the UAE in the lead up to COP28, which aims to increase momentum towards achieving net zero targets in line with science and the Paris Agreement on climate change. With the goal to reduce carbon emissions, AUS has developed its first comprehensive Climate Action Plan, which further aligns the university’s sustainability efforts with the UAE’s Net Zero by 2050 strategic plan.--TradeArabia News Service


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