The University of Strathclyde is set to welcome the world’s largest annual youth gathering on climate change to its campus later this year.

Strathclyde is the official host for the UN Climate Change Conference of Youth (COY16), which will be held at the University’s city-centre campus in partnership with its student association, StrathUnion.

The event will take place in October 2021, ahead of the COP26 climate negotiations in Glasgow the following month.

COY16 is designed to help prepare young people for their participation in COP26 and ensure that the voice of youth is heard. Delegates from all over the world will attend the event at Strathclyde. 

The University and StrathUnion are working with COY16 organisers to ensure the conference is delivered in a safe and secure way, in line with COVID-19 restrictions.

COY is now in its 16th year and is recognised as the most significant youth gathering of its kind with its capacity to directly influence the UN Climate Negotiations. One of the major outputs of COY16 is a policy document crafted by attendees, which will be considered by members of COP26 as part of the negotiation process. 

The youth conference helps young climate activists to form a worldwide network of change makers through workshops, cultural events and policy training. Strathclyde students will have the unique opportunity to join the four-day conference and take part in a number of climate action activities.

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde, said:

“I am delighted that the University of Strathclyde is the official host of this year’s Conference of Youth. The Conference objectives reflect well our positioning as a leading International Technological University that seeks to be Socially Progressive. “

“As we welcome COY16 to the city of Glasgow and to Strathclyde, it is clear that students and young people are inspiring ambassadors for sustainable development and this event gives them an exciting platform to make their voices heard.”

“The actions and outcomes of COY16 are crucial to the negotiations at COP26 and the University is proud to play its part in this significant contribution to COP26 delivery.

“The whole Strathclyde community is working hard to achieve net zero emissions and to put sustainability at the heart of everything we do. The COY16 delegates will be made to feel very welcome in October.”

The COY16 Coordination Committee said:

“The COY16 Organising Team is thrilled to celebrate this year’s Conference in the esteemed halls of the University of Strathclyde.” 

“After careful consideration and planning, the Organising Team found its best fit with Strathclyde because of its continuous commitment to sustainability; its optimal location and features; and its connection with the local and international youth, as teachers and mentors. “

“Additionally, we would like to recognise the University of Strathclyde Students’ Union (Strath Union) for their involvement with the youth, sustainability, and firm support of our Conference.

“We believe that the University of Strathclyde is a perfect place for COY16 to amplify the youth voices in this year’s climate negotiations.”

Kayla-Megan Burns, outgoing Strath Union President, said:

“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. “

COY16 will run from 28th to 31st October and, depending on COVID-19 restrictions, is expected to take place in Strathclyde’s new £60M Learning and Teaching Building which will open later this year. The flagship facility is home to leading-edge teaching facilities, as well as a new home for student support services and the Students’ Union.