Young people from countries facing the worst effects of climate change are to be given the opportunity to attend the COP27 climate summit in Egypt as part of a Scottish Government programme.
The Climate Youth Negotiator Programme is part of Holyrood’s work to widen access to climate negotiations, and will support 35 youths from countries including the Solomon Islands, Liberia and Bhutan to attend the UN summit next month.
It will fund participation and training with the intention of giving young people a voice during the climate talks, as well as developing skills in negotiations and leadership.
The initiative is being delivered in partnership with the Future Leaders Network, with financial backing from the Scottish Government of up to £206,000.
The Scottish Government is also providing funding of £150,000 in order to help women from the global south participate in the event, with the Women’s Delegate Fund supporting four women from Bhutan, Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Timor-Leste to take part in discussions.
This is being delivered in partnership with the Women’s Environment Development Organisation.
Environment minister Mairi McAllan said: “At Cop26 in Glasgow, one of our biggest achievements was raising awareness that the people least responsible for global warming are often the ones suffering its worst consequences.
“Young people in the global south are all too aware of this injustice – they have not caused this crisis, but their lives are already being impacted by its consequences.
“That is why it is so important that their voices are heard at Cop27 and I am proud that Scotland is able to help make that happen.”
Sophie Daud, chief executive of the Future Leaders Network and co-founder of the Youth Negotiators Academy, said: “For too long, young people have been systematically underrepresented in climate change negotiations.
“Recent developments have seen young people as powerful motivational speakers, but are often tokenistic and continue to exclude youth from decision-making.
“The Scottish Government’s transformative support will help to change this – by enabling 35 young negotiators from the global south to take their rightful seats at the decision-making tables at CopP27.
“We are delighted to partner with them, and look forward to seeing the positive impacts of meaningful youth participation this Cop.”