Press Release: BCCIC and RBC Future Launch Send Youth Delegates to COP25 in Madrid, Spain

The British Columbia Council for International Cooperation (BCCIC) today announced its partnership with RBC Future Launch. The Future Launch is supporting BCCIC in sending a youth delegation to the UN Climate Change Conference (COP25) in Madrid, Spain.

RBC’s Future Launch program supports young people in gaining the skills and experiences they need to succeed in a rapidly changing world.

“As digital and machine technology advances, the next generation of Canadians will need to be more adaptive, creative, and collaborative, adding and refining skills to keep pace with a world of work undergoing profound change,” said Valerie Chort, Vice President, Corporate Citizenship at RBC. “That’s what RBC Future Launch is all about, and through our partnership with BCCIC, we hope to be able to define those skills—and help young Canadians develop them.” 

BCCIC places a strong emphasis on empowering youth in global policymaking, particularly in sustainable development. BCCIC takes an intergenerational equity approach that places youth in positions of power and provides them with high-level experience. This is particularly important when working on issues related to the climate crisis. 

Today’s youth have some of the greatest stakes in this discussion. They will suffer an onslaught of extreme temperatures, food insecurity, natural disasters, and biodiversity loss, among other climate consequences, in their lifetimes. Yet, political structures are such that youth often have no voice nor agency in deciding what their world should look like. Younger people also face greater financial barriers to attending global climate conferences, such as COP25.

“A more concerted effort to tackle the climate crisis simply must require youth involvement,” says Jeffrey Qi, Coordinator of Multilateral Affairs for BCCIC’s climate change team. “But learning to effectively collaborate and communicate are necessary for young people wanting to participate in discussions at the international level. Future Launch is helping BCCIC provide experiences that will hone these skills.”

BCCIC youth COP25 delegates will be following negotiation topics under the Paris Agreement and pressuring government representatives to take more ambitious actions. Qi adds that, 

“It is more important than ever for youth leaders to shape the paradigm shift that is necessary for meaningful climate action. As we continue working at the apex of youth capacity-building and climate advocacy, our partnership with RBC Future Launch will allow BCCIC to open its doors to more young people in BC who want to gain the technical skills required to make real, profound change.”

BCCIC would like to express its deepest gratitude to RBC Future Launch, a program that has secured the attendance of 11 Canadian youth to the UN Climate conference (COP25) in Madrid, Spain from December 2 to 13, 2019. Delegates will carry out important policy work on behalf of Canadian youth and Canadian civil society more broadly, aiming for a climate-friendly future.

Note to Editors

  • BCCIC is a network that engages in sustainable development and social justice issues. BCCIC is focused on promoting and supporting the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, both locally and globally.
  • RBC Future Launch helps young Canadians prepare for a drastically changing workforce by providing experience, skills, networks, and other supports.

For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact:
Rowen Siemens, BCCIC Communications Officer (Vancouver, BC)
Phone: 1 (604) 899-4475 /Email: /Twitter: @BCCIC @rowensiemens

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