Climate change youth conference COY17 kicks off in Sharm El-Sheikh

Habiba Hamdy , Thursday 3 Nov 2022

The United Nations Climate Change Conference of Youth (COY17) kicked off on Wednesday in the Egyptian Red Sea city of Sharm El-Sheikh in South Sinai.

The United Nations Climate Change Conference of Youth (COY17) kicks off in Egypt's Sharm El-Sheikh city. Egyptian Cabinet

The event is being held days before the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference COP27 scheduled to take place in the coastal city 6 to 18 November.

The event was inaugurated in the presence of Minster of Environment and the Ministerial Coordinator and Envoy for the COP 27, Yasmine Fouad, and Minister of Youth and Sports Ashraf Sobhy.

COY17 runs from Wednesday to Thursday.

In her speech at the inauguration of COY17, Minister Fouad reviewed the efforts of the Egyptian government to prepare the city of Sharm El-Sheikh to become a green city ahead of the hosting of the climate conference.

The Egyptian government, she said, transformed the city by adopting an environmentally friendly transportation system and a modern solid waste management system, and by diversifying renewable energy sources across the city.

The minister said that the change in Sharm El-Sheikh was brought about by the youths, adding that this proves that "the change we aspire to will come at the hands of young people who are able to face the effects of climate change."

"We are all united in our war against climate change, and through the climate conference (COP27)," she added.

She urged youths participating in the three-day event to come up with a concluding statement that includes hope and success stories that can be replicated and built upon, especially in the field of empowering women in developing countries to access energy, food and water.

COY officially started in 2005 in Montreal ahead of COP11.

In 2009, during COP15, the UNFCCC secretariat and the member states to the convention officially recognised youth as an observer constituency of its own to represent the formal voice of children and youth in UNFCCC processes.

In 2021, COY16 was held in Glasgow, gathering thousands of young change makers from more than 140 countries.

The COY conference takes place right before the COP event in the same host country as the COP. It aims to serve as a space for capacity building and policy training in order to prepare young people for their participation in COP.

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