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These pages and sections capture news of climate change and stories about the groundswell of climate action by governments, companies, cities, the UN and civil society around the globe. To provide feedback, email us at press@unfccc.int Photo©Naziha Mestaoui

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Climate communication, civic crowdfunding, the function of INDCs - these were only some of the core topics and hard skills behind effective climate action that were offered during the 11th Conference of Youth (COY), the latest gathering of youth that precedes the annual UN conference on climate change.

This year’s conference was about optimism, hope and friendship but also very much about the real impact young people can make with the right approach, training and knowledge. The conference message to COP21:

We are young, we are engaged, we are here and ready to change this world – are you?”

Conference topics and participants spanned a wide range of approaches and principles from grassroots activism to negotiation lobbying and working within the financial system.

COY provides a forum for young people who are united by the ambition and motivation to act against climate change.

Impressed by Youth’s Creativity

High-level speakers shared their stories with their audience, including COP21 President and French foreign minister  Laurent Fabius, Paul Watson, founder of the anti-whaling NGO Sea Shepard, Buddhist spiritual leader Sulak Sivaraksa and UNFCCC Spokesperson Nick Nuttall.

Laurent Fabius said he was “impressed with the creativity, energy and resourcefulness of young people who organised COY11”.

Nick Nuttall said he saw a “huge progression of unseen momentum in Climate Action”.

Mr. Fabius wants this generation’s aspirations to be reflected in the outcomes of the conference. “As COP 21 President, he said, I will make sure the message of young people will be put into the final agreement.”

Mr. Nuttall said that effective climate action meant humans also had to “reframe how we measure GDP and economic growth to consider things such as the environment”.

Volunteers and Optimism

Almost everything at the conference from organization, to technical setup and especially workshops and lectures were carried out by young volunteers. Many foreign guests were hosted free of charge by Paris residents. Volunteers cooked lunch and made coffee for all participants on all three days, helping young people without big financial means to attend.

COY was organized by a network of youth organizations including Avenir Climatique, CliMates, French Scouting Federation, REFEED, We Are Ready Now! and Youngo.

The solutions to climate change are also the paths to a safer, healthier, cleaner and more prosperous future for all. To see this and to understand what needs to be done requires a sharp and sustained focus on education, training and public awareness in all countries and at all levels of government, society and enterprise. The UNFCCC's Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) supports this objective.

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