COP28 Presidency launches bid to put climate vulnerable youth at the centre of climate talks

In a bid to help give a voice to youth in climate-vulnerable countries, the COP28 Presidency has launched a new global initiative, the 'International Youth Climate Delegate Program' (International YCDP). By Climate Champions | March 16, 2023

The COP28 Presidency has launched an initiative to ensure young people’s perspectives are at the heart of global policymaking on climate change.

The International Youth Climate Delegate Program (International YCDP), launched at the Road to COP28 event in Expo City, Dubai, will sponsor 100 young people to attend COP28 in November. Delegates from countries on the list of Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Small Island Developing States (SIDS), Indigenous Peoples and other minority groups around the world will be prioritised.

Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and President-designate of COP28, on Wednesday unveiled the program, stating: “We may not know what the future holds ─ but we know who holds the future. It is you — our young people.”

The program will be overseen by the COP28 Youth Climate Champion, HE Shamma Al Mazrui, in collaboration with YOUNGO, the Official Children and Youth Constituency of the UNFCCC.

The objectives of the program include:

  • Ensure that youth views and proposals are fully integrated into global climate policymaking and dialogues.
  • Build youth skills, capacity, knowledge, and networks, particularly in the most impacted countries, to engage in climate processes.
  • Provide a model for the COP process on youth inclusion.

Commenting on the Program, Shivi Dwivedi, Climate Champions’ Youth Engagement & Partnerships Lead said: “The global youth climate movement has been instrumental in bringing the climate fight to the forefront of public attention and politics. They play a significant role in keeping pressure on decision-makers to be more ambitious in their climate plans. Ensuring that the opinions and voices of youth from all over the world (especially from the frontline) are heard, taken into consideration and reflected in the decisions, policies and dialogues in the lead-up and at COP28 is the only way forward.

“The Climate Champions Team is committed to elevating and aligning the efforts of youth as key non-state actors under the Paris Agreement and will continue ensuring pathways for meaningful and impactful youth engagement throughout our work.”

Jabri Ibrahim, Climate Champions’ Green Hydrogen & Youth Engagement Manager for Africa, added: “The 100 young people that will be embedded at COP28 is not only a powerful show of support and goodwill to the youth climate movement, it is also a strategic partnership that will help secure a more ambitious outcome and cover decision in Dubai.

“Young people from all over the world have been the catalysts for more ambitious climate action, and they will undoubtedly continue to do so at COP28. The HLC and CCT will continue to endeavour to support and empower the youth climate movement, as we have done so in the past.”

Participants must be between 18 and 35, demonstrate a commitment to climate issues and ideally have experience in the area.

Applications opened on Wednesday and close on April 7. Anyone interested can apply on