COP26 Youth Summit will be an event for young people leading up to COP26. It will be called “Youth4Climate: Driving Ambition” and will take place in Milan, Italy from 28-30 September 2021.
The events will comprise a mix of in-person and virtual participation. Applications to attend are now closed.
Youth engagement in climate policy is becoming a hot topic. Prevailing climate science finds that the effects of climate change are likely to become more severe unless governments act quickly to reduce emissions in line with the Paris Agreement. The most recent prediction from the Climate Action Tracker estimates that on current policy trends the world is heading for a potentially devastating 3 degree temperature rise above pre-industrial levels by 2100. Today’s politicians are unlikely to be around for these effects – it’ll be their children and grandchildren: the youth of today. UNICEF currently estimates that around 160 million children live in areas experiencing high levels of drought, and by 2040, 1 in 4 children will live in areas of extreme water stress.
“[The youth climate movement] certainly drove us to speed up… The seriousness with which Greta [Thunberg], but also many, many other young people, are telling us that this is about their lives, and that their life spans extend further, has led us to approach the matter more resolutely.” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said according to The New York Times.