YOUNGO action during the intersessionals in Bonn
What is YOUNGO?
Civil society (everyone who is not representing a government) is represented in the UNFCCC by 9 constituencies. YOUNGO (Youth NGOs) is one of them. Constituencies have a formal voice in the UNFCCC process and can deliver interventions (speeches).
Since 2005, each domestic coalition or network within the Youth Climate Movement has sent a delegation to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC) to represent young people in their respective country.
In June 2009, the youth organizations participating in the United Nations climate change negotiations submitted an application to become a constituency. In August 2009, the constituency application was provisionally approved by the climate change Secretariat, making youth the 7th constituency to join the climate negotiations: YOUNGO.
Two focal points for YOUNGO are elected to insure the connexion with the UNFCCC secretariat. The YOUNGO members elect one focal point for the global north and one for the global south, thus representing youth in an official capacity to the UNFCCC.
What does YOUNGO do?
During COPs, YOUNGO provides a space, called Spokes Council where youth can learn about the process, network with other youth, and collaborate.
Spokes council during COP22 in Marrakesh
Members of YOUNGO can decide to act or endorse an initiative as a constituency, in which case open and transparent conversations and consensus are the mechanisms to arrive at decisions. Youth from every corner of the world can be part of YOUNGO as individuals. Youth organizations can also be part of YOUNGO.
On practical terms, YOUNGO is given the opportunity to address the plenary, High Level Segment of a COP/CMP/CMA, make submissions (individual youth organizations also), attend workshops, meet with officials of the Convention such as Chairs of the subsidiary bodies and the COP Presidency. They also take part in the Young and Future Generation’s Day during the COP/CMP organizing a series of side events, exhibits, interviews, media stunts, etc.
How can you join YOUNGO?
All youth organizations involved in the UNFCCC process can join YOUNGO.
The first step toward being involved in YOUNGO is to join one of the two main communication channels, Google Group email list (log in and request to join) and Facebook group. Also, make sure to be part of the Spoke Council, during those meetings you will find out opportunities to join and people to work with.
You are also encouraged to join one of the active working groups.