GEF Empowers Youth Climate Ambassadors for COP28 in Dubai

GEF Empowers Youth Climate Ambassadors for COP28 in Dubai
GEF Empowers Youth Climate Ambassadors for COP28 in Dubai

GEF Empowers Youth Climate Ambassadors for COP28 in Dubai

In a resounding commitment to nurture the next generation of environmental leaders, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) is sponsoring a group of 13 youth ambassadors from Latin America to participate in the 28th Conference of Parties (COP28) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, set to convene in Dubai this December.

This collaborative effort, forged in partnership with Operation COP: Youth Ambassadors for Climate, a Climate Reality Project Latin America initiative, exemplifies GEF’s dedication to empowering young delegates to be integral participants in critical climate change negotiations.

The selected youth ambassadors hail from ten countries across Latin America, including Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, and Peru. They will be actively involved in negotiations spanning a spectrum of issues related to climate change, including mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage, and more.

Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, GEF’s CEO and Chairperson, a seasoned participant in international environmental negotiations, emphasized the paramount importance of including young voices at decision-making tables.

He stated,

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

This resonates with the larger global effort to ensure that the perspectives and concerns of youth are integrated into shaping policies that will inevitably impact them.

GEF Empowers Youth Climate Ambassadors for COP28 in Dubai
GEF Empowers Youth Climate Ambassadors

The partnership with Operation COP: Youth Ambassadors for Climate, which was initiated in 2021, aims to bridge the gap between young climate change experts and international negotiations.

This collaboration addresses the pressing need for youth representation in the development of national climate policies and plans.

Rodríguez highlighted that this initiative aligns seamlessly with the UNFCCC’s Action for Climate Empowerment strategy, prioritizing education, public awareness, access to information, skill-building, citizen participation, and international cooperation.

GEF, as the principal source of multilateral funding for climate change, biodiversity, and pollution mitigation efforts in developing countries, is steadfast in its commitment to investing in young leaders.

Rodríguez noted that the GEF engages with youth leaders through various avenues, partnering with organizations like YOUNGO, the Global Youth Biodiversity Network, the UNCCD Youth Caucus, and local and national chapters associated with the multilateral environmental conventions served by the fund.

Additionally, GEF provides opportunities for young scientists keen on environmental conservation to explore training and networking support through the Fonseca Leadership Program.

This sponsorship is not just a financial commitment; it signifies a profound belief in the potential of young minds to drive positive change.

By providing these youth ambassadors with the opportunity to participate in COP28, GEF is not only investing in their individual growth but also enabling them to contribute meaningfully to global efforts aimed at combating climate change.

The participation of these youth ambassadors is expected to bring fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to the forefront of discussions on climate change.

Their presence will infuse a sense of urgency and passion into the negotiations, reminding all stakeholders of the collective responsibility we hold to safeguard the planet for future generations.

In conclusion, the GEF’s sponsorship of youth ambassadors for COP28 exemplifies a forward-looking approach to climate change mitigation and adaptation.

By empowering young leaders with a seat at the negotiating table, GEF is fostering a culture of inclusivity and intergenerational collaboration.

This initiative underscores the organization’s unwavering commitment to creating a sustainable and resilient future where the voices of the youth are not only heard but valued and integrated into the global response to climate change.


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