For the first time in the conference's history, children from nations across the world have the chance to speak to policy makers at Cop27 in Egypt.
In the past, the conference has been a space usually consisting of older groups of people, perhaps people that have 'more experience' in the world of global politics, yet the voices of children were missing. It's clear now more than ever that the voices of young people need to be heard and taken into account when the future of the planet is discussed.
Climate change is already putting children's basic rights at risk. Access to food, healthcare, clean air and education are diminishing in countries across the world due to the catastrophic effects of climate change. This area at Cop27 is a promising step in integrating the opinions and views of young people into global discussions on how to minimise the effects of the climate crisis.
The space, the Children and Youth Pavilion, is open in the 'Blue Zone' of the conference which is dedicated to people who coordinate global responses to the climate crisis. In the past, youth groups were in the 'Green Zone', an area outside of the realm of debate and negotiation.
To have a seat at the negotiation table is a first for young people. Young activist and author Greta Thunberg has attended years of Cop events but this year has decided to miss the event in Sharm El Sheikh as she deems it a "greenwashing" event.
Though young people won't have one of the most notable young activists in the world advocating in their interests, the health of the planet in the future and young people's relationship with that is something many people at Cop, and around the world, are rightfully concerned about.
The Guardian published a story recently about a network of Indian mother's fighting for clean air and climate action. Warrior Moms is a collective of mother's campaigning for the implementation of WHO air quality standards globally. Co-founder of the group, Bhavreen Kandhari, attended Cop alongside other parental-run groups such as Parents For Future Global and Mothers Rise Up that are advocating for the health, futures and rights of children.
With her is Maya Mailer, co-director of Our Kids' Climate, who said to the Guardian "You walk around Cop and there’s just panels talking and words, words, words. Unless you connect with people emotionally, they are not going to move... Their kids are on the line as well. Mothers bring relentless determination because you will do anything for your kids and we’re not going to give up or go away".
Our Kids' Climate is a group of parents from 58 countries across the world who are uniting to protect their children from the climate crisis. They shared heartwarming and touching video of children from 16 countries talking about their hopes for a future without extreme heat, decreasing biodiversity and access to clean water.
This is a step in the right direction from the organisers at Cop. By allowing people across all ages and countries to come together to debate and share ideas on the climate crisis, there may be more of a chance to combat it.
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