With just 50 days to go until the United Nations COP26 climate change conference comes to Glasgow, 50 young climate activists from across Scotland have joined forces to create Scotland’s official COP26 Youth Climate Programme.
Supported by the Scottish Government, the new programme was co-designed by a national steering group of 50 young climate activists to help solve the climate crisis by equipping other young Scots with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to engage with the COP26 climate change summit in Glasgow.
The project is facilitated by national youth information charity Young Scot, Keep Scotland Beautiful and YouthLink Scotland, working collaboratively to ensure young people’s voices are heard as the nation prepares to host COP26. The youth-led project will help young Scots engage in climate action and provide opportunities to work with decision-makers on these issues.
The project will see hundreds of diverse young Scots come together to take part in tailored training programmes – with the 50 young people in the national strategic leadership panel helping to recruit and train a network of local champions across every Scottish local authority area.
To mark the launch of the initiative and the official 50-day countdown to COP26, the group met on 11 September to share their climate ambitions and prepare for an online climate youth summit in the lead up to COP26.
To enable young people to play a key role in Scotland’s response to the climate emergency, the project will launch a series of online climate emergency training seminars, delivered in partnership between YouthLink Scotland and Keep Scotland Beautiful and accredited by strategic partner in Scotland – the Carbon Literacy Project. The sessions will be available to both young Scots and youth workers – providing advice on how to take climate action and engage young people in environmental discussions.
Minister for Environment and Land Reform Mairi McAllan said:
“Scotland’s young people have been at the forefront of calling for global climate action – to secure a safe and healthy future for them and for generations to come. They have a key role to play in tackling the climate and natural emergencies and this programme will help them make their voices heard and achieve the change they seek.
“This programme has been designed by young people for young people, to give them the tools they need to engage with COP26. I’m looking forward to hearing from Scotland’s young climate activists and seeing the impact of their work in communities across the country and at COP26 in Glasgow.”
A young volunteer, who is helping to co-design the COP26 Youth Climate Programme, added: “Young people in Scotland are passionate about tackling climate change, we have solutions to big environmental problems, and we want an opportunity to have our opinions heard on a world stage.
“The launch of the COP26 Youth Climate Programme gives us an opportunity to collaborate, learn from each other and get involved in the climate change conversation throughout COP26 and beyond. We recognise the risk global warming poses to our future. We want action now.”
The programme will run up to COP26 November and throughout 2022, offering a range of activities to support young people as they engage in the fight against climate change.