Climate Action

COP27: This is what young climate leaders said

A young girl paints during the COP27 climate summit in Red Sea resort at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, November 10, 2022. REUTERS/Emilie Madi

Global youth called upon business leaders and policymakers to address the climate crisis at COP27. Image: REUTERS/Emilie Madi

Timothy Conley
Digital Engagement Specialist, World Economic Forum Geneva
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COP28

  • Young climate leaders arrived at COP27, the UN climate summit, with calls for more action from business leaders and policymakers.
  • COP27 marked the first time that young people were given their own dedicated pavilion.
  • Here's what they were talking about on the ground in Sharm el-Sheikh.

For the first time, youth were provided with a dedicated space at COP27 to host dialogues and discussions aimed at accelerating global climate action. Leaders from around the world gathered in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt for the UN's climate summit, to design and implement climate policies.

Here's what young climate leaders had to say on the ground at the COP27 Youth and Children pavilion:

Indigenous people, local communities, young people, women and girls, should be leaders of climate action and not victims of climate policies.

Archana Soreng, Member of United Nations Secretary General's Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change
Archana Soreng, Member of United Nations Secretary General's Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change, at COP27.
Image: World Economic Forum

Young engineers are driving innovation and driving change. Young engineers have been responsible for many of the inventions over the past century. They are the driving force behind solutions to climate change. Both from a mitigation perspective, adaptation and resilience perspective.

Kirils Holstovs, Engineer, AECOM, and Youth4Climate Delegate
Kirils Holstovs, Engineer, AECOM, and Youth4Climate Delegate at COP27.
Image: World Economic Forum

For me, victory (at COP27) would be if I have the youth coming together with knowledge on what our goals are. I see a lot of activists and sometimes I’m quite concerned that they don’t understand the COP processes. If you do understand the COP processes, then you will know how to manoeuvre your way and get your result out of that.

Margaret Bondziedu Impraim, Environment and Climate Change Officer for United Youth Initiative Africa, at COP27.
Margaret Bondziedu Impraim, Capacity Building and Education Officer for Youth Climate Council Ghana
Image: World Economic Forum

There are many top priorities (at COP27) because climate change is a cross-cutting problem. It doesn’t work if you fix something, and you don’t fix the other. A slow small progress in all the priority items is better than having a big progress on one item lifting the others.

Nisreen Elsaim, Chair of UN Secretary General's Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change
Nisreen Elsaim, Chair of UN Secretary General's Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change, at COP27.
Image: World Economic Forum

My main agenda for this COP is to bring more finance to youth-led climate justice initiatives. If this COP is the COP of implementation, then we do need to bring money to fund those climate justice initiatives.

Pamela Costa, Member, UN Secretary General's Youth Advisory Group on Climate
Pamela Costa, Member, UN Secretary General's Youth Advisory Group on Climate, at COP27.

It's great to see food pavilions at COP for the first time. It doesn't matter if we do everything perfectly on energy and other sectors, if we fail to address food we won't be successful.

Lana Weidgenant, Campaigns and Policy Manager, ProVeg International, and Contact Point of Agriculture Working Group, UNFCCC Youth Constituency
Lana Weidgenant, Contact Point of Agriculture Working Group, UNFCCC Youth Constituency, at COP27.
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