In the framework of the 26th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations on Climate Change (COP26) in Glasgow and the United Nations Conference on Biological Diversity in Kunming, China (COP 15), the European Union Delegation to Mexico, in coordination with the Mexican Ministry for External Relations and with the participation of the Embassies of Canada, Italy, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United Nations Environment Programme Office in Mexico, organised the Conference “Young Mexican Leaders for Climate Action and Promotion of Biodiversity”.
The virtual event, held on 14 October, focused on promoting education and climate activism, in particular among young Mexican leaders, to promote greater climate ambition and biodiversity protection, through an exchange with representatives of youth initiatives from various countries. The aim was to raise awareness among Mexican youth of the relevance of the results of the COPs and to promote climate action, from the sector to which they belong.
The conference was opened by the EU Ambassador to Mexico, Gautier Mignot, the Deputy Minister for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights of the Mexican Minister for Foreign Affairs, Martha Delgado, the UK Ambassador to Mexico, Jon Benjamin, and the US Ambassador to Mexico, Ken Salazar. The event also counted with the special participation of one of the 17 UN youth leaders for the Sustainable Development Goals, artist and producer AY Young, who, through music and the Battery Tour, promotes the fight against climate change.
At the opening of the event, Ambassador Gautier Mignot said: “There is no time for inaction, now is the time to find practical solutions, from the most basic to the most innovative ones, and in this race against the clock, young people play a key role.”
Important initiatives of youth organisations at international level were presented during the conference, such as the Global Youth for Biodiversity Network Mexico (GYBN), Fridays for Future (Italy), Second Nature (USA), “Operation COP-Climate Ambassadors” (Mexico), “We Are Tomorrow Global Partnership” (Netherlands), “Decomp” (Canada), the “Climate wall” (France) and the “European Climate Pact”. The sessions were moderated by Daniela Arrodo, one of the youngsters selected as Climate Ambassador to represent Mexico at COP 26.
The speakers agreed on the importance of starting to act and invited Mexican youth to engage with small climate actions or major innovative projects. They also called on the audience to speak and encourage others to join in finding solutions to address the global climate emergency. “It is important to act today. If you don’t know how to start, approach leaders from different sectors, entrepreneurs and together look for sustainable solutions that help improve their environment,” they said.
The event presented the virtual platform “Mexico-European Union Climate Pact” which, inspired by the “European Climate Pact”, will allow Mexican youth to join, through concrete climate commitments, the action to support the achievement of the goals of the Paris Agreement in Mexico and become ambassadors for climate action.
The conference closed with a virtual concert of “The ClimateMusic Project”, which, combining music with scientific data, made it possible to illustrate the urgency of taking action against climate change.
As part of the European Union’s efforts to empower Mexican youth to take climate action, the Climate Mural Workshop was held on 15 October, involving 17 Mexican youth leaders representing various institutions of civil society, political parties and the private sector.
The workshop, opened by Ambassador Gautier Mignot, enabled participants, through creative dynamics, to better understand the causes, mechanisms and consequences of climate change and to propose solutions.