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Hello there!  Another month, another newsletter! 

Welcome to the July issue of the COY16 Newsletter!
Each month, we will deliver this bulletin filled with information and insight on the organisation of COY16, our progress, and how you and others can help!

About COY16

COY16 is the 16th United Nations Climate Change Conference of Youth.

 

Our Conference is organised by young people from all over the world. We are divided in 7 different Working Groups, and one overall Coordination Committee which has representatives from each Working Group in it. We are also joined by our implementing organizations: UKYCC, XR Youth, UK Youth for Nature, UKSCN, FFF Scotland, UNMGCY and YOUNGO that continue to accompany us and strengthen the efforts put forth by our organization.

University of Strathclyde, here we come!

COY16 is proud to announce it found its home for the 2021 Conference at the University of Strathclyde!

 Since opening its doors, the University has garnered countless awards and recognitions for its commitment to its young students and their education, including most recently being shortlisted in the 2021 Sunday Times University of the Year Awards, which they already won in 2019.

Committed to similar environmental goals as COY16, the University set a 2025 Strategic Plan to become more sustainable, as Principal and Professor Sir Jim McDonald said, “we continue to live by our socially progressive values today, putting sustainability at the heart of our strategy through our commitment to deliver against the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.”

They met their own climate change mitigation target ahead of schedule last year, committed to net-zero carbon emissions by 2040, as well as to publish their own yearly Sustainability Report.

Kayla-Megan Burns, Strath Union President, shared the following statement: “As a Union, climate justice remains a top priority for us in order to secure a brighter and more promising sustainable future. We are delighted to be a part of the COY, and provide the key opportunities for students to feed into these ever-important discussions at such a high level. We will continue to hold ourselves and the University accountable for our role to play in the climate crisis, and inspire students to build a better society as part of the much wider global community.” 

During the event, we will have access to the main hall for keynote events, as well as several smaller rooms for workshops and smaller presentations. We will follow the Scottish NHS guidelines for social distancing and other COVID-19 related safety measures during the conference too, in order to make sure that the event can be held safely.

Be sure to check their website!

Plan B

Did you know you can write and submit your individual Youth Statement?

COY16 aims to be the most inclusive Conference of Youth in the history of YOUNGO, this is why several Working Groups have been working together to create a “Plan B form“. The form is made with the intention of gathering input from the global youth and adding it to COY’s Youth Statement. This way, no voice will be left out of the final document, and every single young person will be represented during the COP26 climate negotiation processes.
 

Virtual COY is here

vCOY is YOUNGO’s virtual Climate Change Conference of Youth and is open to all people below the age of 35 who are interested in making their voices be heard at the UNFCCC negotiations. This is the first-ever virtual Conference of Youth and its main goal is to make youth participation more inclusive and accessible than ever before.

Vulnerable, marginalised, disabled, indigenous communities and others have been left behind many times. Adding the restrictions and obstacles posed by the global pandemic,  the presence of the youth in the upcoming climate negotiations seems to become harder each day.

They say necessity is the mother of invention, and the need for true representation has resulted in a two-part vCOY.

vCOY part one consists of a yearly online event preceding COY. The selection process to become delegate prioritises the vulnerable, marginalised, disabled, and indigenous communities that historically have had smaller chances, if any, to make their voices be heard at the negotiating tables. The aim of vCOY part one is to create an official document that will be fed into that year’s COY Youth Statement, together with the LCOY declaration. This will make this year’s Youth Statement the most inclusive one yet.

Part two is the virtual element of the actual Conference of Youth. It is designed for COY delegates who won’t be able to attend the fiscal event in Glasgow

vCOY will be held between the 12th and 16th of August. To celebrate, YOUNGO, together with the vCOY organizing team and COY16 are collecting videos of young activists from around the world talking about the importance of youth involvement and inclusivity in the climate negotiation processes. If you are interested in being featured, upload your video here!

Working Groups Updates

As a Conference made by and for the youth of today, COY is made up of a diverse variety of essential Working Groups. These are divided into 7 Working Groups (WGs) in combination with one central Coordination Committee. COY16 volunteers work tirelessly on a daily basis to continuously raise the bar and build a Conference that both current and future generations can take pride in. 

Finance

The Finance Working Group is currently establishing connections with new potential sponsors and partners for the Conference. The Group is also maintaining active discussions with potential funders to ensure that COY16 can be fully funded while adhering to the environmental standards of COY. Additionally, the COY16 Crowdfunder is still live! We encourage all those willing to help support COY by sharing and/or donating to the Crowdfunder. Individuals who wish to donate may also reach out to COY via email if interested in providing financial support. 

 

Communications and Outreach

The Communications Working Group has been diligently working towards the creation of the “Green Guide to Glasgow” for all those planning to attend COY16. Additionally, the Working Group has been establishing strong contacts with different professional and student organisations, institutions, as well as various interviews with the intent to create a collaborative environment surrounding COY. Preparations are also well underway for live content, sessions and workshops to take place during the road to COY, in addition to the preparation of fun stickers and content for volunteers.

 

Access and Inclusivity 

The Access and Inclusivity Team has spent the past month working hard to make sure that young people of all ages are able to attend COY16. Through the finalization of the Safeguarding Policy, the Team has been putting in place a safeguarding lead, as well as working through the legal process in Scotland for ensuring the safety of all individuals, including those under-age. The Working Group is doing their best to assure that COY16 will be a safe and secure space for everyone. 

Logistics

The Access and Inclusivity Team has spent the past month working hard to make sure that young people of all ages are able to attend COY16. Through the finalization of the Safeguarding Policy, the Team has been putting in place a safeguarding lead, as well as working through the legal process in Scotland for ensuring the safety of all individuals, including those under-age. The Working Group is doing their best to assure that COY16 will be a safe and secure space for everyone. 

 

Programmes

The Programme Working Group is hard at work finalising the programme for the Conference in October and is excited to work with Logistics and the other Working Groups to craft the run of show for COY16.

 

Volunteer Coordination

The Volunteer Coordination Team is overjoyed to welcome a new cohort of volunteers that have joined the Working Group in the past month. The local team in the United Kingdom is greatly looking forward to a planned “Weekend Getaway in Glasgow”, where preparations are underway to create a space of both learning in preparation for the Conference, as well as enjoyment of those volunteers working to make COY the conference it is destined to be! If you wish to assist with COY, but are too overwhelmed with the amount of information and content on Slack, please join in on the upcoming “Are You Lost?” call to learn about COY’s progress and actions! More details will be shared via Slack in the first week of August, so stay tuned!

 

Global Affairs

The Global Affairs Unit has been tasked with ensuring the proper dissemination of information and collection of inputs for the COY16 Policy Document. In addition to this information-gathering effort, the Working Group is working diligently to assist in responses to queries from delegates planning to attend COY16.

 

Blog of the Month

Let the Games begin 

 

By John Michael Anzilotti

 

As COY16 quickly approaches, the Communications Working Group would like to take the opportunity of the Newsletter to share environmental news and highlights from the past month with the greater COY Community!

 

With the international community coming together in the spirit of sportsmanship, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics kicked off in July with both much fanfare and caution to ensure that the Olympics are held as safely as possible and with a more environmental focus than in previous years.

 

Tokyo has prided themselves on touting the 2020 Olympics as being the most environmentally friendly Games in that “the Olympic medals use precious metal extracted from used electronics. Athletes sleep on cardboard beds. The podiums are recycled plastic. Even the Olympic torch has aluminum that was recycled from the temporary housing used after Japan’s Fukushima disaster.” In addition to “the extra electricity that is required for the Tokyo Olympics will be 100% renewable energy”. With all of these measures put in place, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics are set to have the “best ever Olympic Sustainability code for Climate Change”.

 

Even with these positive changes and aspirations towards more environmentally friendly games, some environmental groups have pointed out concerns or areas for improvement that were still not met by this year’s Olympic Games. The Rainforest Action Network, or RAN, said it “traced tropical plywood from the construction of an Olympic stadium in Tokyo to forests of Indonesia where deforestation has been a problem.” Additionally, it has been argued that “Japanese [fish] suppliers have lobbied Olympic organizers to water down their sourcing standards. As a result, suppliers only need to submit a plan for sustainability, without actually having to achieve it.”

 

Each of these points demonstrate the continued efforts that need to be made to ensure that future large-scale events of this magnitude must not only take public-facing steps to make their events more environmentally just, but also work from the ground up to ensure the environment is respected at every step in the process.

 

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics demonstrate that while great steps are being made to reduce the environmental impact of the Games, there is still a long way to go to ensure environmental equity on such a large scale.

Listen to the whole piece here!
Submit your story here.

Picture rights Shugo Takemi ©

Source 
– Anthony Khun, Even With Cardboard Beds And Recycled Medals, Olympics Take Flak Over The Environment, NPR


Read more blogs here!
Submit your story here.

This incredible team is currently looking for 
Scottish and UK based volunteers!

 

If you are based in the UK or Scotland and interested in helping out,
please click here or contact us.

Thank you for reading this month’s COY16 newsletter! 

 

From COY16, to you.