November 10, 2017  |  

Day 4 at COP 23: Action for Climate Empowerment

Day 4 is the “Youth and Future Generations Day” which is the focus of workshops, seminars, debates and other side-events during the day. It is a great opportunity to shed light on the importance of involving, educating and empowering youth while recognising youth has a vital role in fighting climate change.


“Youth and future generations day” goes hand in hand with the topic I am following in the negotiations—Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE). It is about involving, educating and empowering the people, particularly youth. We see that this may not be a subject that is prioritised by the delegations.  However, Climate Empowerment should be the foundation of many other negotiations. If there is no plan to involve the communities, it would be hopeless to come to a decision about adaptation (adapting to the effects caused by climate change) and mitigation (reducing emissions that cause climate change).


We need to educate people so we understand why we needchange. Youth needs to know what is happening, what the future looks like, and how we can work to change it.  With climate education, people would have own incentive to change the way we live.  Then, the next step is to provide the tools and opportunities to achieve this. We could also foresee that there will be more adaptation and mitigation needed, along with the increasing need to climate empowerment for youth.


Empowering youth is the reason why the YMCA is here at the climate negotiations. The YMCA delegation comes from different parts of the world. We felt the frustration in climate change. When we are here at COP 23 Fiji, we want to transform our frustrations into something constructive. We work together, not only to get a good agreement and result at the negotiations. It is just as much about getting inspired and motivated to go back home and continue the real task: Empowering our communities so we can make the change we need.


Bjørg Vårli Håland

Norwegian YWCA and YMCA





Alvin Kan
Alvin Kan

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