Mock COP26: Youth urge world leaders to adopt climate treaty

Yesterday, 330 young delegates from over 140 countries shared their powerful, ambitious and professional statement to world leaders, demanding urgent climate action this side of COP26.

Over the past 2 weeks, delegates attended key speaker panel events, negotiated with other country delegates on key policies and created high level statements declaring what the youth of their country would like to see in global climate policy and action.

The time and effort spent by these inspiring youth activists culminated in a powerful open letter asking world leaders to read and consider the 18 climate policies in the Mock COP26 Treaty with an open mind.

Greenhouse PR has spent the last 2 months working with Mock COP26, the virtual youth-led alternative to the postponed COP26, to amplify voices of youth impacted by the climate crisis and raise ambition for climate action. More than 350 articles have been published in over 30 countries and Mock COP26’s social media channels have received an influx of support from influencers, COP26 representatives and young activists across the world.

Mock COP26 Treaty: what do the youth want?

The Mock COP26 Treaty outlines 18 policies that young people want to be implemented in the run up to, and at, COP26 next year. The policy recommendations revolve around six key themes: climate education, climate justice, health and wellbeing, climate resilient communities, biodiversity protection and national carbon reduction targets. 

The Treaty includes asks for national governments to ensure that:

  • Substantive education on climate change is available to young people at every level of formal education, based on the best science available. 
  • The rights of young people are protected in decision-making matters relating to the climate emergency and ecological crisis, including sending more youth representatives to COP26.
  • Governments commit to limiting climate change to below 1.5 degrees Celsius and ban the offshoring of emissions.
  • Stronger regulations on air quality, ensuring polluting industries significantly reduce their emissions to guarantee safe and breathable air.  
  • Policy measures assist farmers to move away from practices that are harmful to soils, water and biodiversity and that fuel deforestation.
  • A far-reaching law on ecocide to criminalise the mass destruction and environmental damage caused by human activity.

The importance of diversity and inclusion

The African continent is said to produce the least carbon emissions, and yet faces some of the most severe consequences of the climate crisis. For instance, Mock COP youth organiser Uchendo Kelo, has seen first-hand the effects of oil exploration, which led to increased acidic rain in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria and how more frequent droughts have forced the Fulani community to migrate, leading to wider displacement and burden on these communities. 

In order to amplify the voices of those from the most affected areas, and the Global South, Mock COP organisers ensured that these countries were afforded more time and a greater say in the voting.

To provide a platform and space for these voices, Greenhouse secured media coverage in over 350 publications and outlets across the globe, including BBC World TV, CNN, TIME, Thomson Reuters, France24, Le Monde, Jakarta Post, TRT World (Turkey), Channel 4, MTV, The Guardian, Metro, Independent and many more.

These articles include interviews and quotes from several youth activists from areas most affected by the climate crisis, such as Gladys Habu from the Solomon Islands, who witnessed her home, Kale Island, disappear as a result of climate change.  

Or Mitzi Jonelle Tan, a climate activists and Mock COP ambassador from the Philippines, who has spent the last few weeks supporting her community through Typhoon Vamco, one of the strongest Typhoons in the world this year, leaving devastating impacts on the livelihoods of people in the Philippines. 

Spreading the word on social media

Greenhouse also supported Mock COP26 on social media, reaching out to various influencers, stakeholders and partners to provide an international platform for the voices of youth activists. The official Mock COP26 hashtag, #MockCOP26, reached over 11.8 million people on Twitter, with retweets and posts from several accounts, including the COP26 team and COP26 President Alok Sharma, Greenpeace UK, Ecover, and climate justice podcast Mothers of Invention.

Focussing on the key theme of climate education, Greenhouse developed a new partnership between Mock COP and the UNDP for the launch of the learning module in the Mission 1.5 campaign.

On Instagram, actor and Mock COP ambassador, Louis Hynes, shared a video and Bollywood actress and UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador Dia Mirza shared information about Mock COP to her 4.3M followers. Several influential climate activists also took to social media, such as Licypriya Kangujam, Tori Tsui, Xiye Bastida and Vanessa Nakate.

Support the youth in the run up to COP26

The Mock COP26 conference may be over, but the climate crisis is not, and the organisers and delegates plan to spend the next year engaging with world leaders to increase climate action. You can:

  • Donate to their Crowdfunder, ensuring the team have the funds to continue their work over the coming year.  
  • Follow Mock COP on Twitter or Instagram to stay up to date with what happens next. 
  • Visit their website to read and share the full Mock COP26 Treaty and open letter.
  • Watch the Mock COP closing ceremony and hear from youth leaders and Nigel Topping on the 18 policy demands and how COP26 will support these demands.

Greenhouse PR  works with organisations and leaders who are pioneering climate action and climate justice. Whether it’s food, fashion, finance or farming, if you’ve got a great story and need our help to tell it, get in touch with the Greenhouse team on 0117 214 1250 or email info@greenhousepr.co.uk.

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