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Posted December 12, 2023

By Kevon Wilson

3 Minutes Read


Summary of COP28 – Day 8: Youth Empowerment and Involvement

Key Developments:

Youth Day at COP28: Focused on empowering young generations to shape climate actions and outcomes. It emphasized providing clear opportunities for youth to contribute to decision-making in climate diplomacy.

Youth Stocktake: YOUNGO launched the first-ever Youth Stocktake, analyzing youth involvement in climate diplomacy and presenting strategies to enhance their participation in the COP decision-making process.

Education and Climate Awareness: Greening Education Partnership Declaration: 38 countries committed to integrating climate education into their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and National Adaptation Plans (NAPs). This partnership, involving the UAE, UNESCO, and UNICEF, focuses on greening schools, learning, capacity, and communities.

Health Initiatives: UAE’s Funding for Youth Health in Africa: The UAE announced a $220 million funding package to improve health outcomes for youth in Africa, highlighting the importance of investing in young populations for a prosperous future.

Conservation Efforts: Act30 Initiative: Launched by IUCN, IIFB, and Esri, Act30 aims to support governments in conserving biodiverse areas. It aligns with the 30×30 target under the 2022 Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.

Forest Conservation and REDD+ Projects: Jurisdictional REDD+ Technical Assistance Partnership (JTAP): Announced to help tropical forest countries access finance for large-scale forest conservation through REDD+ projects. However, concerns were raised about the effectiveness of REDD+ projects in carbon reduction and their impact on vulnerable communities.

Controversies and OPEC’s Response: OPEC’s Reaction to COP28 Draft Agreement: OPEC head Haitham Al Ghais expressed concerns over the draft text of the COP28 final agreement, stating it puts undue pressure on the fossil fuel industry. He warned against a potential deal to phase out fossil fuels, urging OPEC members to reject any text targeting fossil fuels rather than emissions.

Leve Global’s Comments on Day 8

Day 8 of COP28 highlighted significant strides in youth empowerment, education, health, conservation, and forest protection. However, the controversies surrounding the effectiveness of REDD+ projects and OPEC’s response to the draft agreement underscore the complexities and challenges in achieving a balanced and inclusive approach to climate action. These developments are crucial for SIDS, where youth engagement, education, health, and conservation are key to sustainable development and climate resilience.

Deeply committed to the sustainable development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), particularly in the Caribbean, we view the outcomes and discussions of COP28 Day 8 with a critical perspective, especially regarding the initiatives and controversies that emerged.

Empowering Youth and Education Initiatives: While we applaud the focus on empowering youth and integrating climate education, as seen in the Youth Stocktake and the Greening Education Partnership Declaration, we are concerned about the practical implementation of these initiatives in SIDS. The Caribbean youth are among the most vulnerable to climate change impacts, yet often lack sufficient platforms and resources to effectively influence climate policies. Ensuring that these global commitments translate into real opportunities and resources for young people in SIDS is crucial.

Health Initiatives and Funding: The UAE’s announcement of a $220 million funding package for youth health in Africa is commendable. However, it highlights a disparity in attention and resources allocated to different vulnerable regions. SIDS in the Caribbean, grappling with health challenges exacerbated by climate change, also require significant investment in health infrastructure and services. There is a need for a more equitable distribution of health-focused climate funding that includes small island nations.

Conservation Efforts and Forest Protection: The Act30 initiative and the JTAP are positive steps towards conservation. However, the effectiveness of REDD+ projects in carbon reduction and their impact on local communities, including in the Caribbean, raise concerns. These projects must be carefully designed and implemented to ensure they do not adversely affect the rights and livelihoods of local communities in SIDS.

Controversies and OPEC’s Stance: OPEC’s response to the COP28 draft agreement, expressing concern over the pressure on the fossil fuel industry, is alarming. For SIDS, particularly in the Caribbean, the phase-out of fossil fuels is not just an environmental issue but a matter of survival. The reliance on fossil fuels has contributed significantly to the climate crisis that disproportionately affects vulnerable island nations. OPEC’s stance seems to overlook the urgent need for a global transition to renewable energy, which is critical for the survival and sustainability of SIDS.

We now challenge the global community to focus on ensuring that the needs and voices of the most vulnerable nations are not only heard but actively prioritized in all aspects of climate action and policy-making. The success of global climate initiatives must be measured by their impact on the most vulnerable, ensuring equitable, responsible, and regenerative development for all.

What are your thoughts on Day 8? Please leave your comments below.

Read our summary on Day 9 here.

Check out our summaries on other days:

Day 1

Day 2-3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day  7

Day 10 (Coming Soon)

Day 11 (Coming Soon)

Day 12 (Coming Soon)

We would love to hear from you. Engage with us. Leave a comment below.

About the Author:

Kevon Wilson
Senior Analyst
Leve Global

Kevon U. Wilson

Kevon Wilson, is a premier researcher and strategist. He has more than 16 years’ experience in research and digital marketing.

He is co-author of many of Leve Global’s research publications such as Big Data – Delivering the Big Picture to Drive Competitiveness, Everything You Need to Know About Internet Marketing, and The Top Ten Emerging Markets.

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