Open call for Youth Delegates to COP24

Representing BC Youth on the Global Stage

Open call for Youth Delegates to COP24

Deadline to Apply: Saturday 28th April 2018 23:59 PST

Introduction

The British Columbia Council for International Cooperation (BCCIC) is excited to announce the opening of applications for youth delegates to COP24. Building off the success of 2017’s COP23 youth delegation, BCCIC is looking to continue empowering youth voices in the international climate negotiation space.

In 2015, world leaders gathered in Paris and demonstrated a global commitment for decisive action on climate change: limiting planetary warming to “well-below” 2°C above pre-industrial levels, while aspiring for a 1.5°C target threshold. The Paris Agreement is a truly universal agreement that is the result of efforts from all countries, both developed and developing. This is reflected not only in the adoption of the Paris Agreement by 197 Parties, but also by the unprecedented contributions communicated over the past three years. As of April 2018, of the total 197 Parties to the UNFCCC, 175 countries have ratified the Paris Agreement.

Many people are still touched by the moment when global leaders, negotiators, representatives from the world’s youth, Indigenous Peoples, businesses, social justice advocates, and environmental communities burst into cheers at COP 21. This year, negotiators and civil society representatives will once again assemble to work collectively on advancing climate action worldwide.

This year’s Conference will be comprised of the following sessions:

  • the Conference of the Parties (COP24);
  • the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 49);
  • the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 49);
  • the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA 1-6);
  • the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 14);
  • the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA 1.3).

This year’s conference will be held from 3-14 December 2018, in Katowice, Poland.

What are these meetings about?

The COP is the supreme decision-making body of the Convention. All States that are Parties to the Convention are represented at the COP, at which they review the implementation of the Convention and any other legal instruments that the COP adopts. They further make  decisions necessary to promote the effective implementation of the Convention, including institutional and administrative arrangements. Find more here: https://unfccc.int/process/bodies/supreme-bodies/conference-of-the-parties-cop

The Subsidiary SBI is one of two permanent subsidiary bodies to the Convention established by the COP/CMP. It supports the work of the COP and the CMP through the assessment and review of the effective implementation of the Convention and its Kyoto Protocol. The SBI also advises the COP on budgetary and administrative matters. Find more here: https://unfccc.int/process/bodies/subsidiary-bodies/subsidiary-body-for-implementation-sbi

The Subsidiary Body for Scientific and technological Advice (SBSTA) is one of two permanent subsidiary bodies to the Convention established by the COP/CMP. It supports the work of the COP, the CMP and the CMA through the provision of timely information and advice on scientific and technological matters as they relate to the Convention, its Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement. Find more here: https://unfccc.int/process/bodies/subsidiary-bodies/sbsta

The Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA) was established by the same decision to prepare for the entry into force of the Paris Agreement and for the convening of the first session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA). Find more here: http://unfccc.int/bodies/apa/body/9399.php  

Who is a youth delegate?

  1. The Youth Delegate is a representative of young people.
  2. The Youth Delegate is a young person themself.
  3. The Youth Delegate is a representative of BCCIC, and behaves in accordance with the principles and objectives of the organization.

Why Youth Engagement is Important

Youth play an integral role in the international community’s effort of achieving a sustainable world. “There are more young people in the world than ever before, creating unprecedented potential for economic and social progress,” writes the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth.

With about 1.8 billion young people worldwide between the ages of 10 and 24, actively engaging youth in decision-making processes enables intergenerational collaboration to truly implement Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 17 – inclusive partnerships that collectively seek solutions that benefit our society, the planet, and its inhabitants.

Strengthening intergenerational collaboration entails providing mentorship and education of youth, as well as valuing young people’s opinions and creative solutions. More importantly, by further promoting youth participation and engagement, we are creating a momentum of fostering stewardship and sustainable development values amongst the future designers, politicians, engineers, and architects of the world. Investing in the next generation of young leaders will yield positive results – long term and short term – that contribute to the global integration of the SDGs and more robust climate and social justice actions.

The Youth Delegate is expected to:

  • Be available for the full duration of the meeting, or be available and have a preference for one of the periods suggested.
  • Fund their own travel and accommodation expenses.
    • The latter to be discussed within the delegation once selected.
    • BCCIC can issue support letter for fundraising or grant application if requested.
  • Actively participate in the delegation’s preparations.
  • Actively engage with the different participants and stakeholders at the conference (Country Representatives, other civil societies, YOUNGO/ENGO members etc.).

Before Departing the Youth Delegate shall:

  • Meet with BCCIC staff to develop a plan of engagement while at COP24 that will reflect the principles and the work of BCCIC.
  • Review details of the Paris Agreement (https://goo.gl/eTqgbE), the UN Sustainable Development Goals (https://goo.gl/Rp7V45) and the work of previous BCCIC youth delegations (https://goo.gl/TDz5EG)
  • Study the UNFCCC’s recent developments, especially those related to BC and Canada’s interests, youth issues, and other UN governing bodies.
  • Hold briefings with civil society (mainly youth organizations) which will be an enabling tool in the fair representation of Canadian young people.

At the COP the Youth Delegate will:

  • Form part of BCCIC’s official delegation.
  • Provide BCCIC with a Canadian youth point of view.
  • Attend and report on the negotiation meetings attended by  BCCIC.
  • Attend and report on the side-events relating to the SDGs and other BCCIC working areas, and those which interest the delegate.
  • Actively promote the integration of SDGs and global climate actions through meetings with other civil societies, country delegates, and the UNFCCC current and incoming presidency if possible.
  • Prepare daily dispatches of meeting and networking experiences for traditional and social media (BCCIC blog posts, tweets, op-eds).
  • Build strong networking relations with the other Youth Delegates in order to carry out future Initiatives.
  • Work with other youth non-stakeholder actors (NSAs) to increase the priority placed on youth issues by the Canadian government as well as by other Member States.
  • Assist BCCIC in general administrative tasks.

After COP the Youth Delegate will:

  • Co-write a project impact report with the delegation, to disseminate information and accomplishments from COP to the public.
  • Write at least one brief report reflecting on his or her experiences for BCCIC, to be used in social and/or traditional media.
  • Co-design and participate in a BCCIC webinar on their experiences and the major outcomes of the COP in regards to youth issues.
  • If desired, continue to work on issues relating to youth engagement and sustainable development with BCCIC.

The Youth Delegate Should:

BE PREPARED – you will never know what the person you’re engaging with will ask – study up on youth-related resolutions and other official documents. It is absolutely necessary.

BE CONFIDENT – no matter how challenging things may be, keep believing that you can convince the whole world of what you’re doing and what you’re asking for.

BE CONCISE – Crystallize what you have to say – don’t say too much, don’t say too little.

BE DIPLOMATIC – Demonstrate that you are professional and diplomatic in your words and actions – don’t raise your voice, don’t get over-emotional, be in control, polite, and act sensibly.

BE PERSISTENT – In political engagement, setbacks are guaranteed. You must find it in yourself to keep going even when all hope seems lost.

The Youth Delegate will be a part of the BCCIC delegation to COP24 and thus the Delegate must adhere to BCCIC’s principles and values, as well as the Istanbul Principles. The delegate is expected to, in their official capacity as BCCIC delegates, execute the Council’s strategic goals for the COP and actively promote the SDGs and other areas in which BCCIC is currently working.

The Delegate may choose to join the International Youth Climate Movement (IYCM:YOUNGO) – the UNFCCC official constituency for young people – and attend their various working groups and activities in their own capacity. If the Delegate wishes to participate in YOUNGO activities, actions, press conferences, and working groups, they will join YOUNGO as an Individual Member with no affiliation to BCCIC.

Unless an authorization is given by a BCCIC staff, under no circumstances will the Youth Delegate issue statements (public or private), organize actions, protests or press conferences on behalf of BCCIC.

To ensure that the Youth Delegate fairly and positively represents the principles of BCCIC, they are discouraged from participating in direct political activity that is critical of Canada’s government. It is important to note that BCCIC encourages a constructive critique of Canada’s role in global climate action as a means of direct civil society engagement for policy change and will itself be analysing actions and proposing improvements. However, such analysis and critique must be constructive.

Eligibility

  • Must be between the ages of 18-24, inclusively;
  • Must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident;
  • Resides in the Province of British Columbia.

Important criteria for selection of delegates include

  • Interest, and understanding of sustainable development and climate change issues, specifically the Paris Agreement, the 2030 Agenda, and the SDG framework;
  • Level of ambition for social change and passion for the social well-being of others;
  • Depth of connection with the province of British Columbia and an understanding of sustainable development issues unique to the province;
  • Experience in advocacy, climate actions, sustainable development, and the general engagement with global issues and local community;
  • Motivation to contribute to BCCIC’s efforts on promoting the SDGs and strengthening civil societies’ collaboration on climate action and global sustainable development;
  • An achievable/realistic funding justification;
  • Commitment to learn new information, gain new skills, and participate in BCCIC’s projects even beyond the conference.

To apply

If you are motivated to participate, please submit to colton.volunteer@bccic.ca before Saturday 28th April 2018 23:59 PST. Please put “[UNFCCC COP24 Application] Your name” as the subject of the e-mail. Late and incomplete submissions will not be accepted.

What you need to submit?

Please submit your CV/résumé and a letter of motivation containing answers to the following questions:

  • How do the SDGs connect to my day to day life? (less than 300 words)
    • Are there any specific SDGs that I work with on a regular basis?
  • Why is youth participation important for global climate action? (less than 300 words)
  • How can I contribute to the conference, and what unique skills can I draw upon to advance the work of the BCCIC delegation? (max. 200 words)
    • What differentiates me from other applicants?
  • List any past and/or current experiences relevant to sustainable development, climate change, international development or advocacy
    • Have you interned/worked at an NGO before? Led a climate change related project? Are you studying in a relevant field of study at your post-secondary institution?
  • How do I plan to finance my participation? (~CAD$1,000-CAD$1,400)
    • You may apply for grants from your post-secondary institution or other non-profit organizations, foundations, and companies.
    • Or, you may fundraise yourself.
    • Please be as specific as possible.
  • How can my participation benefit the youth of British Columbia? (less than 200 words)

You may also submit any supplementary information about yourself in a creative manner: an essay, a poem, or a video, but this is optional. Know that opportunities like this are rare and you will be competing with equally qualified individuals.

Accepted applicants will receive online or in-person preparation as soon as the results are released. BCCIC commits to train, brief and prepare all delegates to the meeting; and to smoothly coordinate the delegation during the meeting.

We understand that this opportunity may clash with your final exam schedule. Whilst BCCIC will provide you with a letter of confirmation of your participation to the 2018 UN Climate Change Conference, we strongly advise you to discuss academic accommodation with your faculty adviser or your course instructor.

All applicants will be notified of their application results.

*Any questions regarding this opportunity should be directed to BCCIC Youth Delegation Coordinator Colton Kasteel at colton.volunteer@bccic.ca.

 

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